Streetlight Manifesto probably isn't a band a lot of people have heard of unless they're into ska-punk. They are, in my opinion, one of the greatest bands of all time. Their lyrics are wonderful stories, poems, dreams set to melancholy music that is at the same time both sad and uplifting. I can soundly say that I love everything about them. That is why it breaks my heart when I see all the terrible things they go through.
In 2005, they were robbed twice, the first time in October where $80,000 worth of gear was stolen, and then again in November in Paris, France where they lost, "the one expensive piece of equipment that wasn't stolen in last month's
debacle, a 24 track hard drive recorder we've been using to document
our live shows".
Since they first signed with Victory records, there had been problems. These problems are well-documented and if you're interested in the history, go to those links and enjoy being saddened by a broken music industry machine. If that's too much reading for you, to sum it up: Victory is being so hostile to their artists, namely Streetlight in this case, that Streetlight is asking people to boycott their music unless bought directly from them. This includes - allegedly (gotta keep things legal) - withholding royalties from the group as well as putting a stop to music releases they have no right to put a stop to. Again, this stuff is well-documented by the band and also RISC Store organizer, Dave.
If you go to the RISC Store right now - the band's personal merch store - you will be met with a friendly pop up window informing you of all the latest troubles. This is only following this one which informed us that lead singer Tomas Kalnoky's 3-piece acoustic trio, Toh Kay's, accompaniment album to Streelight's new record, The Hands that Thieve - entitled, appropriately, The Hand that Thieves - had been cancelled.
I once had faith in the necessity of the music industry; had faith that there was a ladder and prestige in place for a reason. Now all I see are bullies and I can't stand it. If you like the music that these guys are putting out, or even just some of the awesome t-shirts and art prints available at the RISC Store, or if you're a dedicated creative content creator yourself, please, I implore you to support them. They could really use it. I am.