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Music

About Joe.

A keen listener and conversationalist, Armstrong himself can be laugh-out-loud funny, but he’s dead serious about the music and politics reflected in his upcoming full album release Burn It Down coming out July 19, 2024. Since relocating from his native Chicago to Los Angeles in 2005, he’s launched a podcast showcasing fellow independent artists, Independent’s Day (which he still hosts), and worked the better part of a decade in political media. Burn It Down is a product of those experiences as well as “the first rule of Armstrongism”: Just do what you say you’re going to do. 

 

Armstrong set out to make a full album — in itself a strong statement at a time when music listeners increasingly just download individual tracks and choose their own “hit singles.” It is indeed a true album of fired-up recordings and lyrics adorned by Karen Walker Chamberlin’s bracing artwork, available on streaming platforms as well as CD and old-school-style gatefold vinyl. After all, as Armstrong observes, “vinyl is the original multimedia packaging,” extrapolating the format into one of the core themes of Burn It Down: valuing hard reality over comfortable illusion.

“An album allows me to give it weight, to give it cohesion,” he observes. And that aids his determined campaign to persuade people to listen, across musical genres, artistic mediums, and barriers of culture, identity and ideology."

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