Punk-rock music was built on a do-it-yourself foundation and a healthy aversion to the establishment. New Jersey's Streetlight Manifesto has embodied this ideal with its latest move. Over the past decade, seven members with seven different musical backgrounds have taken the high-energy, in-your-face nature of punk and ska, and added elements of jazz, funk, classical, and world music. SLM's most recent studio effort, this spring's "The Hands That Thieve," was originally scheduled to drop in the summer of 2012, but the release was delayed because of a drawn-out battle with its record label. Streetlight Manifesto was so disillusioned with the higher-ups that the band actually asked its fans to boycott its own music. If that isn't punk, I don't what is. But underneath all the drama, the music stands on its own. It's fresh, visceral, and, above all, important.
Streetlight Manifesto performs Thursday, June 20, 8 p.m. at Water Street Music Hall, 204 N. Water St. $17.50-$20. waterstreetmusic.com.