Subliminal Projects Present Tim Armstrong’s Avenues & Alleyways

If you think punk rock isn’t an art from, you obviously haven’t been to Avenues and Alleyways. Tim Armstrong, know from his work in Rancid, The Transplants, and Tim Timebomb, recently unveiled his first art exhibit Avenues & Alleyways at the Subliminal Projects in Echo Park, California. Subliminal Projects is a multifunctional gallery space originally created by Shepard Fairey and Blaze Blouin as an artist collective in 1995. The show hit capacity on opening night and included a special live performance from Tim Timebomb and Friends.  His gallery is now open from January 24-Febuary 22. The opening night was a huge success with Subliminal Projects reaching Capacity before doors, and a humongous line wrapping all the way up the street. Souncheck411 Writer Eric Walden and photographer Priscella Vega got early access to the exhibit and concert and saw plenty of familiar faces along the way. The almost bursting couple of rooms saw the likes of Flea of the Red Hot Chili Peppers, Ron Emery of TSOL, Matt Freeman, and Brandon Steineckert of  Rancid, along with the entirety of The Transplants, and The Interrupters before the show. Tim also made it a point to graciously meet everyone who came out before the concert to show his appreciation.artgallery_4_TimArmstrong

If you were planning on purchasing any of Tim’s artwork hopefully you got there early. Most of the picture was sold within a matter of hours, but there was also a limited run of 100 7” box sets filled with 45 hand signed prints available at the show. When Soundcheck411 asked about purchasing a set of these pictures more than half of the boxes were already purchased by friends and family at the show before the general public even got into the venue, but as of January 27th there are some still available. It seemed somewhat unreasonable that someone behind the scenes encouraged so many people to attend the event after the amount of Facebook RSVPs far outnumbered the capacity of the show. Artists and fans traveled from other states to attend Tim’s exhibit and the NAMM [National Association of Music Merchants] event that was also being held in California during the same weekend. Having a separate VIP night for friends and family would have drastically decreased the amount of unhappy fans who were stuck waiting in line without taking away from the exhibits intimate atmosphere. Once the doors opened it was a madhouse. People were packed up against every wall of the venue trying to weasel from room to room and get a good glance of all the artwork. DJ Shepard Fairey set the mood perfectly with his new take on old school punk rock tracks. He mashed together the best of bands like The English beat, Black Flag, Minor Threat, and NOFX with an up-scaled tempo, and an old school spirit.

artgallery_8This rough and aggressive deviant style is a perfect way to put the punk rock regime on display. All of Tim’s art showed ties to his time on tour and in studio with Rancid, The Transplants, Operation Ivy, and his with his side project Tim Timebomb and Friends. His pictures weren’t confined to canvas, but instead seemed strategically thrown directly onto newspaper articles, cardboard, wood, and other original backdrops to add an extra level of detail to the background and negative space. These numerous levels of song lyrics, angsty images, and distinct backgrounds weave together in a very unique and interesting way. They form a new and never before seen look into Tim’s past experiences, and creative process.

According to the few fans that we spoke with; the major draw to attend opening night of Tim Armstrong’s gallery and wait in line for hours was to see Tim Timebomb and Friends play right outside the venue. Since the Rancid / Transplants tour a while back did not include Tim Timebomb anywhere near California; fans made it a priority to attend the show so see what they missed. Travis Barker of Blink-182 and The Transplants, along with Elves Cortez of Left Alone and The Transplants had been dropping hints on their Facebook and Instargam accounts that the show was going to be unforgettable. Unfortunately only a few fans from the enormous line made it inside the gates for the show. Those lucky enough to stand within the gates got to see a spectacular performance, but it didn’t stop there. Security did the best to stop the rest of the enormous crowd, but since the show was in an actual alley, a whole different swarm of people flooded in and around the stage. Fans stood anywhere and everywhere trying to see the show. They hopped on trashcans and dumpsters; They climbed up trees and sat on top of walls; fans stood across the street on benches, and even packed the residential balconies overlooking the alley. It was like an old school backyard party full of punk rock royalty.Performance_TimTimebombandFriends9

Fans that attended opening night and saw the show were treated to a truly amazing performance with plenty of surprises. Tim started the show with members of the Transplants alongside members of The Interrupters, who previously opened the first leg of the Rancid / Transplants tour. Their energy and enthusiasm on stage literally washed over the crowd. Having the show on a makeshift stage without security or a barricade brought a whole other level of intimacy unlike any commercial performance. The show was packed far beyond capacity, but every fan was happy to be smashed together singing and dancing along. It was totally unlike any Rancid show Soundcheck411 had seen before. There was no stage diving, no crowd surfers, and little to no moshing. The crowd’s energy was similar to the likes of the Red Hot Chili Peppers, or the Foo Fighters. It may not have been aggressive, but you could see on the faces of the crowd that this show was more than just fun; it was fantastic. Tim spent most of the show on the edge of the stage or on top of the front monitors and blocks bending out and over the crowd. The first few rows were within centimeters of being accidentally hit by his guitar when he moved and hopped, and spun around.

Performance_TravisBarker-TransplantsIf this wasn’t enough, Amy Interrupter sang a duet version of Tim’s song Family with the intensity and hard vocals of bands like The Distillers or X. Travis Barker and Skin Head Rob also hopped in to join the rest of The Transplants when they played a song by iconic punk band Blitz, but nothing could compare to the bands final song for the night. Tim ended the show with the Operation Ivy anthem Soundsystem. This quite simply could be the closest fans will ever get to seeing Operation Ivy songs performed live again, and it didn’t disappoint. Elvis Cortez sang backup vocals and fans went absolutely crazy! You could hear those iconic Lyrics echoing throughout the alley and all the way down the street.

If you get the opportunity to see Tim’s art show, Avenues and Alleyways you won’t be disappointed. It especially comes highly recommended if you enjoy rough, dark, raw and unpolished paintings. This exhibit truly exemplifies the artistic punk rock style, and puts all the intensity of a live show on the walls. Maybe those Soundsystem lyrics are still ringing in Tim Armstrong’s gallery.

Review by: Eric Walden


Live Show