Ska.  This particular breed of music had been formed by fusing two influential sub cultures. Ska combines the fast-paced energy of punk rock, the core elements of reggae, adds mellow tones, melodies, break downs, and choruses, while using a variety of instruments such as horns, the turn tables, and steel drums.

While bands such as the Cherry Poppin’ Daddies, Reel Big Fish (and even Sublime to an extent) are known as notable ska acts in the mainstream; one band has emerged from the underground scene and walked in to the limelight. Streetlight Manifesto was formed by members of other ska bands from the previous wave of the genre. For example, Tomas Kalnoky, front man of Streetlight, was a founding member of Catch 22.

Streetlight Manifesto has taken the basic frame work of the genre and manufactured a unique, yet beefed up, version of the original. Maintaining the same high energy and fast paced rhythms, STM throw in a quirky, more involved, jam style, reminiscent of the big band era. A very clean mesh of playful harmonies between the sax and trumpet highlight and accent the vocal progressions. Drums hit hard and fast, with flagrant nuances, while having a borderline, romantic, back-and-forth with all the instruments and choruses.

Streetlight Manifesto has mastered their art, and continues to experiment with other musical genres, adding to their eccentric musical palette to keep things fresh. Much of what makes this band is their use of subtleties and changes in the composition, while maintaining the roots of the hybrid genre.

Don’t like punk or reggae, but are looking for a new sound to throw into your media player? Streetlight Manifesto is definitely the guiding light.  Not only in the ska genre, but as musicians in their own right – and worth checking out!

Be on the lookout for new projects from Streetlight Manifesto! For more info, check out their website:

Are you looking for something to do during all this rain?  You are in luck!  Streetlight Manifesto is currently on a nationwide tour.   They have set their sights on the Sacramento area. They will be playing at Ace of Spades Friday, Dec. 7th .   Also playing on the bill is Hostage Claim and Lionize.   Doors open at 7 pm to all ages. Tickets Available through Ace of Spaces and at the door! Don’t miss out!

Ace of Spades  is located at 1417 R Street Sacramento CA 95814

Words Ernesto Perez


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