Manifesto - Decree
Streetlight + Manifesto = Pure Unadulturated Musical Joy
Late August 2003 saw the emergence of this third-wave ska band. Streetlight combines many different music styles, including, jazz, reggae, punk, acoustic, and rock all to produce a style of music which has the potential to make people respect - yes, i said respect - the much-looked-down-upon genre of Ska.
The band itself is formed from the best of two other ska groups, old Catch 22 and One Cool Guy. From Catch 22 there is Josh Ansley (bass), Jamie Egan (trumpet) and Tomas Kalnoky (guitar, vocals & songwriting). From One Cool Guy there is Chris Thather (drums), Jim Conti (tenor sax), Dan Ross (bari sax), and Mike Saprano (trombone.)
Kalnoky is truly the heart of the band. His guitar playing is not necessarily anything special in itself, though it is still good. His vocals, however, are where he shines the most, having refined his voice and brought it to new more angry and energetic heights since "Keasby Knights." His song writing is extremely origonal and diverse. Songs do not follow cliched patterns of verse-chorus-verse. You never know what to expect. Also, Kalnoky's lyrics are absolutely incredible - a good friend of mine made the observation that they were almost as good as radiohead's (that's pretty good). The other sections of the band are equally amazing. Thather on drums is easily one of the most talented contemporary drummers and goes from style to style as he plays. John Ansley is also a terrific bassist with some of the most ingenuitive lines i have ever heard. And finally, the horn section is what gives streetlight their power. Unlike other ska bands nowadays, the horn section does not have "corny" horn lines or only come out with occasional bursts here and there. Streetlight features very complex horn parts which define the sound of the band, and the horns very often have terrific solos. All that having been said this makes for a truly terrific band.
Their first cd was known as "Everything Goes Numb." Truly top notch stuff. It is diverse and a perfect combination of wonderful songs which produce a cohesive album. Key tracks include, "Everything Went Numb," "Point/Counterpoint" and "A Moment of Silence." In fact, every song on this cd is a hit, and I could not claim to dislike anyone of them. I highly reccommend that you buy this cd, even if Ska's not your thing. You'll be glad you did.
Tomas Kalnoky is the lead singer and songwriter of the band.
To date, they have made four albums (Though I don't really recommend buying the first, which is just early versions of later released songs).
Streetlight Manifesto demo.
Keasbey Nights, which was originally written for Catch-22.
Everything Goes Numb.
Somewhere in the Between. I could see this one offending religious people.
A third wave ska (ska-punk) band started in 2003 by Tomas Kalnoky and made up of members of the bands Catch 22 and One Cool Guy, Streetlight Manifesto is lauded by many as the beginning of the "4th wave of ska" due to their complex horn lines and ingenious arrangements that make them stray from the general definition of ska music. They've released 3 albums (not including their demo): Keasby Nights, Everything Goes Numb, and Somewhere in the Between. I especially recommend the latter two (and especially especially like Somewhere in the Between).
They've also just finished recording a massive colaboration project with Catch 22 and Kalnoky's side project Bandits of the Acoustic Revolution entitled "99 Songs of the Revolution." It's a 99 song album spread across 6 discs and it should be released early 2010.