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Wednesday, 31 July 2013 13:00

Summer night soundtracks: 'A Poet's Life' by Tim Armstrong + Video

Summer night soundtracks: 'A Poet's Life' by Tim Armstrong
Written by Jason Warren
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The turntable is spinning, the sound system is hooked up and the bass can be felt vibrating the ground as the stars begin to cascade around the moon in a haze of cigarette smoke, empty bottles and cans.

The booming sound lands perfectly between 2-Tone London, mid-'60s Kingston and a trip up the Mississippi with the spirit of Stax/Volt. Tim Armstrong's (of Rancid, Operation Ivy, Transplants and also know as Tim Timebomb) 2007 album "A Poet's Life" is one rife with sounds that set the tone for summer, especially those muggy, nasty and steam inducing nights that can only be found on the streets of St. Louis.

Backed up by the Aggrolites, Tim Armstrong put together an album that just reeks of those nights that makes summer special. His punk poetry oozes broken-hearts, late night ragers, self-contemplation and violence that only the heat can bring. From the first dub-inspired vocals of Armstrong's nasally Bay-area twang asking "Are you ready for this?" and without a doubt from the first notes the needle contacts, it's clear this isn't an album for the fall, winter or spring. "A Poet's Life" is for those nights that last forever and make you wonder whose bed you just woke up in.

"We may run out of money tonight but never out of time." With that one line from the song "Into Action" there is no turning back. The night lasts forever and there is no telling where one can end up. While the songs are written for San Francisco and the East Bay, the sentiments on "A Poet's Life" make it an album for any city, especially St. Louis.

The sounds that the Aggrolites throw down backing Armstrong's words can make any citizen of St. Louis feel the steam rise from these muggy streets after an unpredictable storm. Underneath the grooves, horns and pulsating ska pleasure of the album there is the plodding of Doc Martens and Chuck Taylors hitting the pavement in search of those carefree summer times.

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