This is an mp3 blog attempting to document the gross amount of music I listen to. About once a day, I'll post something I like. If you're a copyright holder on anything I host, get in touch, and we'll settle things in a steel cage instead of a courtroom.

Sunday, February 11, 2007

"I'll never get to Heaven if I'm singin' this song" - Streetlight Manifesto

Thomas Kalnoky is a frustrating figure, from the perspective of a music fan. He was at the helm of the single greatest record of the fourth-wave ska revival, Catch 22's Keasby Nights (which I'll probably blog about tomorrow). He then quit for school reasons, and the band slid into mediocrity (Alone in a Crowd) and then awful (Dinosaur Sounds).

Kalnoky (along with half of his bandmates in Catch 22 and most of the line-up of One Cool Guy) reappeared in 2003 with the band Streetlight Manifesto. They dropped the stunning Everything Goes Numb, which had me floored from the first listen on, which is odd for me. Normally, the records I like the most are the ones I hate on the first go-round. You shoulda heard me the first time I heard London Calling - I was all of 15 years and full of I-know-what-the-fuck-punk-is bluster. Just goes to show that at 15 you know everything, but at 23, you don't know anything.

Anyway, Streetlight Manifesto's debut album was amazing, full of tenor sax leads and a light-speed drummer, all capped off by Kalnoky's hardcore speed-rap and commanding vocal presence. Unlike 'most all of their contemporaries in the ska scene, they give their songs room to breathe, adding acoustic flourishes, tempo shifts, and instrumental showcases (and tugs-of-war). While "That'll Be the Day" could be the perfect score of a car chase, songs like "Point/Counterpoint" could easily be part of your next relaxed hangout witcher best friends.

So why is Kalnoky frustrating? Because Streetlight Manifesto decided to follow-up their original, thrilling debut with...a cover album of Keasby Nights. Why? They claim they had problems with the drums sounds. Zzzzzz....lame! So their version of Keasby Nights comes out, and they tour it for a while, and then...nothing. They keep touring based on the strength of Everything Goes Numb, and they haven't really addressed whether or not they're going to make a new record.

Hey Thomas, I love both song sets, but there's only so much you can tour on the same 25 songs (unless your band is the Rev. Horton Heat). Let's have another one, okay? Other than the new Dillinger Four, I can't think of one I'm waiting for more.

That'll Be the Day -

Point/Counterpoint -

Here's To Life -


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