Saturday, December 27, 2003
I have a special weakness for two kinds of music: ska-punk and hard-core drug rock ([BH] Surfers and Queens of the Stone Age, for instance). In the former category, one of the unheralded luminaries is Tomas Kalnoky, whose incredibly fast abd dense lyrics make him unmistakable. He was the lead singer/songwriter of the early version of the band Catch-22, and is now involved with Bandits of the Acoustic Revolution (BOTAR) and Streetlight Manifesto. The new (and first) Streetlight Manifesto album is basically part two of "Keasbey Nights," Catch-22's last recording with Kalnoky and several others who left with him. Another weakness I have is for songs that continue a theme. Everyone's heard the song with the chorus "just call me angel in the morning, baby," but there was a reggae song released a few years ago where they guy sings "Shorty, you're my angel, baby," which boosted it several notches in my estimation. In any case, the title track from the Catch-22 album had the following perverse chorus:
"When they come for me, I'll be sittin' at my desk
With a gun in my hand, wearin' a bulletproof vest
Singin' 'mymymy how the time does fly
When you know you're gonna die by the end of the night.'"
In the song "Point/Counterpoint" from the Streetlight Manifesto album, occupying the same track number as "Keasbey Nights," there's the following chorus:
"I've got a gun in my hand, but the gun won't cock
My finger on the trigger, but the trigger seems locked
And I can't stop starin' at the tick-tock clock
And even if I could I would never give up
With a vest on my chest and a bullet in my lung
I can't believe I'm dyin' with my song unsung
And if and when I die won't you bury me alone?
'Cause I'll never get to heaven if I'm singin' this song."
Awesome. This group also releases acoustic ska-punk as BOTAR, utilizing cellos, French horns, and other classical instruments. The song "Hey Sergio," originally by Catch-22, is "covered" by BOTAR, and BOTAR's song "Here's to Life" is re-done by Streetlight Manifesto.