Joseph Arthur hasn’t been dawdling since his last album came out two years ago.
The New York singersongwriter has started his own label, Mega Force, published an art book (with accompanying CD) called “We Almost Made It,” released a new album, “Nuclear Daydream,” and has most of another record finished. It’s a good thing he likes to work hard.
“I’m always busy,” says Arthur, 35. “The hardest part of it is actually getting your business out to the world so you can prove you’ve been busy. That’s why I started a label, so I could just have more freedom to put things out.
“It’s cool. It feels really liberating.”
After existing for a while on a cult and critic’s fave level, Arthur enjoyed a bit more notoriety this year when R.E.M.’s Michael Stipe used his song “In the Sun” for a single released to raise money for Hurricane Katrina relief.
“To have him do a song is a real honor,” says Arthur, though he wasn’t sure what that would necessarily mean for his own career.
“I obviously recognized there’s a possibility that it could bust me out in a way,” he says. “I probably daydreamed about it for a minute or something, but I wasn’t sitting there obsessing about it. I’ve been doing this long enough to know or just have certain ideas about the way things are as far as putting any stake in that.
“But they raised a whole bunch of money for Katrina and I got to be part of that, which is an honor — it always is when your music becomes a vehicle for something good.”
Joseph Arthur performs Monday at the Magic Bag, 22920 Woodward Ave., Ferndale. Doors open at 8 p.m. Admission is $13. Call (248) 544-3030 or visit