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Q: What's your take on Tim Armstrong's ongoing "Tim Timebomb"/a-song-a-day project?
A: Well, first off, you have to give Tim Armstrong credit. The guy really is an artist in the true sense of the word in that he's willing to try brand new things. On Transplants, he made a pretty unique mix of punk, rap, techno, and other stuff. That didn't work out so well (the new lp is actually pretty good) but he also took a chance and made a musical. That was pretty cool and if you ask me, is probably the best of the punk musicals. He also worked on an album with Jimmy Cliff and it came out awesome. So many artists keep doing the same thing over and over and claim that they are "staying true" or something silly like that, when really, they are just scared to take artistic chances.
The song-a-day thing is neat, because Armstrong is taking a lot of chances- Elton John covers! Cool! Instrumental, acoustic remakes of Rancid songs! Old blues covers! Double Cool!
So, Armstring gets props for doing stuff so many other punk rockers would be scared to do.
But........ so many of these songs seem undercooked. It seems like that if the band spent just another day or two working on these arrangements, the songs would have much more force and energy. Also, his delivery on these records seems weird. People keep telling me that his strange, extremely gravely delivery is a stylistic choice, but to me, it sounds like he has Spasmodic Dysphonia (what DMC of Run-DMC has). (I HAVE NO INSIDE INFO, THIS IS JUST ME GUESSING.) I wonder if his voice is a result of a medical condition. I hope not, but if it is a stylistic thing, it's a weird thing to do on all of the records and alters the songs severely.
I've heard that Tim is trying to break a world record by releasing all of these covers. I don't know, but the idea is cool, I just wish the songs were more fleshed out. I wish we had a little bit more quality than quantity.
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