Music Manifesto

9

Ska is the perfect music to work out to.

….and to dance to, to fight to, to love to, to fuck to, to celebrate to, to vent with, to passive aggressively tell life “fuck off” with, to sing to, to relax to, to party to, to cry to, to mosh to, to skank to, to get over lost love with, to drive to, to jog to, to look to for inspiration, to rage to, and just to simply live to.

Ska is the perfect music.

Hello. I am the director/animator guy of Toh Kay’s With Any Sort Of Certainty video. You may have seen it. In fact, 55+k of you did in the first 48 hours. That is until the fine folks at (asshat record label) issued a takedown complaint to Youtube and Vimeo, for Tomas’ own original song and my own original animation. They took it off of my Vimeo account. That felt… weird. At this point, (asshat record label) is working their hardest to make sure the video goes away, possibly for good. The issues between Tomas and (asshat record label) go back through many acrimonious years, and I just happened to have my own work dragged into it by a record label trying to prove a point. They have lawyers. I do not. So I can’t fight them and it may take a long time for it to get ironed out enough that I can repost it again.

I worked very hard on this video. It means a lot to me. And I was so pleased and gratified to know that it meant a lot to some of you who saw it. Thanks so much for your emails and stuff. You guys are great. Both Tomas and I will have the video on our sites, but who knows how long that will last. And we both want as many people to see/hear it as possible, and to have it readily available for new people to see and hopefully connect with and enjoy.

And so, here is a download link for the full 1920x1080 video. It should be good for about 2 weeks. Enjoy it. Upload it anywhere and everywhere. Remix it. Torrent it. Blog it. Tumblr it. Tweet it. Steal it. Give it. Um… print it out and post it on walls? I don’t know. Whatever the spirit moves you to do.

Neither of us want to see this thing we’ve worked on go away. You can’t ever really erase something from the internet, especially music and art. It just gets out there, that’s what’s so great about it. It lasts. And with your help it should only be a quick and easy Google search away from anyone who wants to see it.

Thanks so much for caring. Go and buy some stuff directly from Tomas and support him during this fucked up situation. And if you are so inclined, check out my work and my prints here.

Thanks!

EDIT - YOU GUYS ARE FANTASTIC. With Any Sort Of Certainty is available several times over in a few different places now. This is the one I’m linking to at the moment. So if you haven’t seen it and don’t want to download, click and enjoy!

2

I am a kandi kid, I am a raver.
I am a neon freak, a walking rainbow. I am a cross between “a care bear puked on by a unicorn" and "a fashionless, tacky piece of shit.” I “have enough plastic jewelry on for a bag lady and a half."  

I wear plastic, beaded bracelets up to my elbows, I sound like a maraca when I shake my arms, I look ridiculous. I walk into a store and people stop, point and stare. I’ve been glared at, called “raver scum,” “druggie" and my personal favorite, "rainbow skank.” 

Others may not like me, they may not like us. They may have stereotypical ideas and assumptions about what we do and who we are. The idea of a raver has become people shooting up under blacklight while listening to “techno music.”
Others think that we are “retards,” as one Tumblr user put it,  for being apart of something we love and embracing a culture that doesn’t “make sense.”  

We live the way we want to live and we love what we love. I live with P.L.U.R as my motto and EDM as my lifesource. Our religion is our music, our emotion is love. We are birds of the night, we are freaks of nature and we unite under the electric sky. 

You may hate us, dismiss us, misunderstand us, and you may not even who we are or if we even exist. We just ask that you do not hate us, because we would never hate you. We don’t judge based on appearance, clothing, subculture or personality. We are not criminals. We do not hurt people. We do not hate. We live on Peace, Love, Unity and Respect; this is our motto, our manifesto. 

I live to make people smile, to make them happy. If I can do that by giving a stranger on the street a bracelet; I will gladly do it. If I can make a little girl smile by handing her something that is cute or pretty; I will not hesitate. I am here to empower; to spread love wherever I go. If that makes me a freak; I gladly embrace it and wear it proudly on my sleeve.

I am a raver.
I am a kandi kid.
I am not a bad person.
I am not destructive.
I am not hateful.
I am not one to judge.
I am here to love and to build up.
I am here to spread acceptance.
I am here to spread a smile wherever I go.
I am a freak, a weirdo, a tacky, walking rainbow.
And I love it; more than anything else in the world.

We do not judge you based on how you dress, act, the lifestyle you seek or the choices you make. We do not care who you are, where you have come from, where you will go or what you identify with.

We love all, we embrace everyone. We seek to unify.
We are the kandi kids, the ravers, the freaks, the weirdos, the creeps, the strange ones.

And we wear it proudly. 

Hello Friends

So, somehow, we’ve made it to 2013.

The band you know as Streetlight Manifesto started as a humble recording project in a New Jersey basement 10 years ago. While we were working on our first record, we never could have imagined that the music we were putting together would start a chain reaction in our lives that would result in our traveling the world for a decade, playing in countries we only read about, taking on the lives of full-time touring musicians for, essentially, our entire 20’s. When we finished that first album, we had hoped to put on a local show to celebrate its completion. That show turned into a tour, that tour turned into a few tours and those few tours eventually turned into a lifestyle. For 10 years now, Streetlight has been one of the biggest parts of our lives.

Today, it’s time to announce to our fans and friends that we’re turning the last page of this particular chapter of our lives. We’ve solidified plans to tour our well-traveled asses off for one last year, until the end of 2013, at which time we will be not necessarily be moving on from the band, but changing our approach to what we do with the majority of our time. More specifically, we will no longer be touring year round, nor will we be touring much at all anymore. We have decided to step away from the table before we get sick of our favorite meal; we’ve seen enough bands over the years grow old playing the same songs for decades, going through the motions, slowly fading, and more depressingly, continuing on for all the wrong reasons. We’re moving on to preserve what we created, to be able to look back on it proudly, before we find ourselves looking around and realizing that we’ve become what we swore we’d never be. In the last few years, we’ve all hit the 30 year mark, and we’re ready to try some new things; some of us are ready to do a little bit of the ol’ settling down, some of us are excited to pursue different musical avenues, and some of us just want to live a slightly less hectic lifestyle. We’re doing this now for all of these reasons, not to mention 10 years is nice, neat chunk of time to devote oneself to something before moving on. Doing this next year, at 11 years wouldn’t be nearly as dramatic, nor as poetic.

As for our actual plans for the future, this is what we have in mind: No more long tours and no more year round traveling. BUT! Streetlight is not actually breaking up, and we have no plans to ever do so, really. As of now, we still plan to play festivals, both in the US and overseas, occasional one-off shows here and there and even sporadic short-run tours. Hell, we may even do an extended tour a few years from now, who can say? One thing is certain, though: we will still make music together. We’ve recently submitted an album (The Hands That Thieve) to the record label we’ve been under contract with since the beginning, and with that, we are now free of a very contentious, very unhappy relationship (you may have heard, ha!) that has caused us much frustration and anguish over the years. We have no plans to ever sign with another label and we will happily continue to release records, on our own and on our own terms. Who knows, maybe now that we won’t be touring all the time, we can squeeze out records a bit faster than our usual snail’s pace.

SO! Today we announce The End Of The Beginning Tour, a multiple leg outing that will last until the end of the year, sort of like our last hurrah before we settle into Streetlight’s new mode. We’re doing two short runs in Europe (one in the UK including the Slam Dunk Festival shows and one on the mainland including Groezrock and Monster Bash), playing at this year’s Skate and Surf Fest, squeezing in a few college shows, then we’re heading across the USA in June for the first of two domestic tours. The first one is the shorter, smaller city leg, to be followed by a massive 6 week major city tour in the fall/winter, after which we will be bidding you all a semi-farewell. We will be announcing more legs and more shows as the year progresses. To be honest, we will likely never play the majority of the places we’re playing this year again, so come out for one or two last hurrahs with us. We’ll be playing the classics, new songs, acoustic and alternate versions of songs, you name it. We can pretty much guarantee we will do our utmost to make these last shows be some of the greatest of our 10 year existence. We are proud of what we’ve done, and more importantly HOW we’ve done it, and we plan on holding ourselves to that high standard throughout this year and onward.

So, enough rambling; we need to cut this short before the waterworks start. In closing: We are done being a full-time touring band, but not done as a band. Also, this can never be said too many times: we can’t stress or repeat enough how grateful we are to all of you for enabling us to live this life for a decade; to travel the world, to see and experience all that we had access to because of Streetlight has been the gift of a lifetime. Thank you, thank you, thank you. See you at the shows!