Posts Tagged ‘Streetlight Manifesto’


At first this record may seem like a cash grab, that is until you realize the circumstances Streetlight Manifesto and Tomas Kalnoky (Toh Kay) have been through during their career. The band and Kalnoky himself have been through the ringer with Victory Records, with lawsuits brought against them and the band and Kalnoky have been screwed out of who knows how much money. So when you see Streetlight Manifesto release a 12″ of their first demo from way back in 2002 on Kalnoky’s own label Pentimento Music Company you should be a bit forgiving.

This demo release came out left field. There were no pre-orders, the band simply promoted it on social media and the records shipped right away. The record is fairly cheap too, especially if you buy it in a bundle with the Bandits Of The Acoustic Revolution – A Call To Arms 12″, which was released at the same time as the Streetlight demo. If you bought the Demo alone it cost $10 (BOTAR 12″ cost the same) before shipping, but if you bought it in the bundle, which cost $16, you obviously save $2. Shipping however, is where the affordable/cheap factor is immediately erased. The cheapeast shipping option The Risc Store (merchant hosted Streetlight Manifesto/Pentimento Music’s web store) is priority mail, which costs just under $9 for a single record or a little over $13 for the bundle.

No idea on the pressing info as it was never released, but all copies of the Demo are pressed on black vinyl. I was fully expecting just the record slid into a standard jacket because of how cheap this release it, but when I opened it up I was pleasantly surprised to discover there is a printed dust sleeve. The dust sleeve is single sided, as one side is blank with the other side having the liner notes in the form of a lengthy note from the band detailing the history of every song.


The first and only Bandits Of The Acoustic Revolution release, A Call To Arms, was finally pressed on vinyl in 2016. It only took 15 years. The EP was pressed as a 12″ and released by Pentimento Music Company, which is owned by Tomas Kalnoky (BOTAR, Catch 22 and Streetlight Manifesto).

This release came out left field. There were no pre-orders, Streetlight Manifesto simply promoted it on social media and the records shipped right away. The record is fairly cheap too, especially if you buy it in a bundle with the Streetlight Manifesto – Demo 12″, which was released at the same time as the BOTAR record. If you bought A Call To Arms alone it cost $10 (Streetlight release costs the same) before shipping, but if you bought it in the bundle, which cost $16, you obviously save $2. Shipping however, is where the affordable/cheap factor is immediately erased. The cheapeast shipping option The Risc Store (merchant hosted Streetlight Manifesto/Pentimento Music’s web store) is priority mail, which costs just under $9 for a single record or a little over $13 for the bundle.

No idea on the pressing info as it was never released, but all copies of A Call To Arms are pressed on black vinyl. I was fully expecting just the record slid into a standard jacket because of how cheap this release it, but when I opened it up I was pleasantly surprised to discover there is a printed dust sleeve. The dust sleeve has the BOTAR logo on one side along with the track listing, with the other side having the lyrics printed on it.


The first volume in the You By Me series, a series of records featuring Toh Kay and another artist covering each other’s songs, was released on vinyl in 2013, well after it was originally released back in 2010. It was pressed on black vinyl, and compared to Volume 2, has a much cheaper feel. While Volume 2 has a printed dust sleeve with lyrics and liner notes, Volume 1 is stuffed into a regular paper dust sleeve and does not come with an insert or anything of that sort with lyrics and liner notes. There is also no hype sticker on the cover of Volume 1 when there is one on the cover of Volume 2. A download code is included with Volume 1 though. I do not know how many copies were pressed, but I expect a couple thousand at the very least.

Volume 2 features Dan P (Dan Potthast) of MU330 fame. The first side of the record features Toh Kay, who covers (in order) “I’ve Set Sail,” “Downtown,” “I Went In,” “Tornado Joe” and “Got Through Another One.” Side 2 is all Dan P, who covers (in order) “A Moment Of Silence,” “Somewhere In The Between,” “Watch It Crash,” “We Will Fall Together” and The Big Sleep.”

For whatever reason the first volume of The You By Me series is not available from distros or record stores, it’s only available directly from the band/artist/label via their merch store: The Risc Store. This is despite the fact that Volume 2 is available from various distros and other online retailers, even though it, logically, came out after Volume 1.

Toh Kay - You By Me Vol. 1 - Copy

 


The second volume is what could turn out to be a long series of releases featuring Toh Kay and another artist covering each other’s songs, was released in mid August 2014. You By Me Vol. 2 features Toh Kay along with Sycamore Smith, with each contributing three songs. This volume was pressed on black vinyl, with an unknown amount pressed. All copies come with a download card and rather than an insert, a printed dust sleeve is included.

All the volumes in this series have been released on Tomas Kalnocky’s label, Pentimento Music Group. I can’t see any reason why future volumes, should they materialize, would not be released by Pentimento. Volume 2 has Toh Kay covering, in order; “Shantanilly Town,” “The Man With The Skeleton Arms” and “Hokum All Ye Faithful. Sycamore Smith covers “The Hand That Thieves,” “Would You Be Impressed?” and “A Better Place, A Better Time.”

Vol. 1 of this series is also on vinyl, but so far it’s only available fromPentimento. Vol. 2 however, seems to be widely available, with places the likes of Amazon selling copies. I would have picked up Vol. 1, but after shipping it’s just too expensive, especially when you compare it to Vol. 2.


The last of Streetlight Manifesto’s “albums” to get pressed on vinyl was released a few weeks months ago. Keasbey Nights As Performed By Streetlight Manifesto is an odd album. You can’t classify it truly as a covers album because Streetlight is made up of a bunch of former Catch 22 members. Streetlight’s take on Keasbey Nights is definitely different than the original, but not by much. There are subtle differences though, enough to know the difference between the two versions of Keasbey Nights. The album was most likely recorded to speed up Tomas Kalnoky’s contract with Victory Records.

The pressing info is as follows: 117 copies on clear with black smoke, 240 copies on white and 320 copies on tan. If you order from any place other than Victory you will get either white or tan. I fully expected to get the tan/320 variant as is typical when ordering from distros (getting the least rare color) but received the white /240 variant. The clear with black smoke variant is sold out.


Once again everyone’s favorite label, Victory Records, is involved with yet another despicable handling of one of their bands. Streetlight Manifesto, who have bore the brunt of Victory’s wrath for what seems like forever now, dealt a damning blow to the band with their latest album and final album on released on Victory Records which fulfilled their (I actually believe it’s solely Thomas Kalnocky’s) contract with the label. After quite a long delay with just releasing the album due to legal battles, Victory had one last sucker punch to deliver before Streetlight walked out the door; withholding the band’s own album from the band themselves, especially vinyl copies, preventing the band from selling their own music via any method. Victory also flat-out cancelled the companion album to The Hand That Thieves, Tomas Kalnocky’s solo acoustic rendition of the album under the moniker Toh Kay entitled The Hands That Thieve.

As a result of Victory withholding the album from the band, they were unable to fulfill almost every pre-order of the took through their webstore. To further muddy the waters, the band was eventually afforded copies of the album on CD, but would never be able to get copies on vinyl. Since the band would not be betting any copies of the album on vinyl, and the Toh Kay release was cancelled all together, the band was forced to automatically cancel or partially refund all orders containing vinyl and/or the Toh Kay album. My initial order fell into the flat-out cancel portion as I ordered the vinyl bundle with both the Streetlight and Toh Kay versions of the album. Yet another problem arose as The Risc Store, who handled Streetlight’s online merch orders, dragged their feet with refunds. A month later and most people are still waiting on refunds for vinyl orders of any sort. It took a bit of unorthodox persistence on my part to get a refund but I finally did.

Now that the record is finally released, here is the pressing info; 218 copies on white, 314 copies on green and 1,000 copies on black. The album was pressed as a double LP housed in a gatefold jacket. I’m very surprised Victory sprung for a gatefold jacket, but even so they cheaped out as it’s just the lyrics in black ink printed inside the gatefold. A download code is included but it’s for terrible 192 kbps MP3’s. You could get better quality by driving next to someone playing the CD in their car. An old school mail order catalog is included as well. It’s important to note that the white copies were initially supposed to be and advertised as “clear with black smoke” but somewhere along the lines changed to white. The pressing info was also initially round numbers, so 200 and 300 respectively. So far the only color that is sold out is the white, which is appalling as people are actually directly giving their money to one of, if not the worst labels to ever exist.


Thomas Kalnoky of Streetlight Manifesto and Catch 22 fame released a solo album under the name Toh Kay entitled Streetlight Lullabies, where he did acoustic versions of Streetlight Manifesto songs. A surprising departure, I know. The album is surprising good, as the songs work well without a horn line.

I do not know how many copies of this album were pressed, but all copies were pressed on black vinyl.