INSUBORDINATION FEST ’12

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Insubordination Fest is just about my favorite time of year. A few days of fun and pop punk is a great way to start the summer. They just announced the lineup, and here it is (complete with links in case you’re unfamiliar with some of the bands)

June 21 – 23
The Ottobar
Baltimore MD

Be My Doppelganger
Beatnik Termites
Billy Raygun
Bobby Joe Ebola and the Children MacNuggits
Braceface
Candy Hearts
City Mouse
Copyrights
Dan Vapid and the Cheats
Dear Landlord
Dewtons
Dopamines
Emily’s Army
Fatal Flaw
Firecrackers
House Boat
Isotopes
Lipstick Homicide
Mean Jeans
Mikey Erg
Mixtapes
Night Birds
Parasites
Plow United
Promdates
Singleton
Slow Death
Smokejumper
Sweethearts
Teenage Bottlerocket
Trashkanistan
Unlovables
Weekend Dads

SHOWS I SEEN: Insubordination Fest 2011 – August 18th-20th 2011 – The Ottobar – Baltimore, MD

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Ottobar – Baltimore, MD
Thursday, Friday and Saturday August  18-20th 2011

Well Insubordination Fest 2011 has come and gone. I got beer in the eye twice, kicked in the head and the jaw, elbowed in the eye, bruise on my shoulder and a bloody ankle. On top of that my ribs, arms and feet just hurt like a bitch in general, but it was a great weekend. After Sonar caused the hell state that was last year Insub was moved back to the Ottobar, where it turned out to be a million times better. Sure there was a little down time between bands or when the one band you didn’t care about played but you needed it. There were fewer bands than last year but just as much party to be had, The Ottobar was rad and let people hang out in the alley, even with drinks. Thanks to everyone that makes this happen and to Sick Sick Birds for making sure everyone doesn’t starve. So here’s basically what went down.

Thursday (Pre-show):

Shutouts - Missed them, I started Insub by fucking up right off the bat.
Barecat - These guys were really good, glad they played. I will be looking into them more.
Army Coach - I guess I had these guys overhyped in my head, it was kind of a letdown but they were pretty good.
Dead Mechanical - Dead Mechanical is one of those bands I’ve seen more than I can count, and I’ve never seen them have a bad set. It was nice to see them play on a stage for a decent amount of people though instead of at the Art Space all the time (no disrespect to CCAS, best place!).
Direct Hit - My first time seeing Direct Hit and they did not disappoint. Plus they played Werewolf Shame, so everything was great.
Max Levine Ensemble - I was outside for this one.
The Young Hasselhoffs - Maybe the biggest disappointment of Insub. These guys were so flat, it was kind of boring.
The Connie Dungs - Great set, except they didn’t play two of the songs I really wanted to hear, and I was unaware just how weak the singer’s voice really was. Besides that though it was great, they played for an hour and a half, it kind of reminded me of seeing the Queers. They played one A Radio With Guts song too, but it wasn’t Werewolf Weather.

Best sets of Thursday: Connie Dungs, Direct Hit, Dead Mechanical, and Barecat.

Friday:

The Marshmallows - First time I’ve seen the Marshmallows, they were really enjoyable, I will be looking into them more too.
The Firecrackers - Much like Dead Mechanical I don’t think the Firecrackers are capable of having a bad show. I’ve only seen them about six times but they are one tight band, always a pleasure.
Be My Doppelganger - Apparently some internet jerk (not this one) told them the beach party last year was dumb, so they were all business this year. Despite the lack of the party on stage Be My Doppelganger was still really great; they played all the jams you needed to hear. And even though there was no beach party, they still had to play a few songs shirtless.
Mixtapes - Another first for me was seeing the Mixtapes. I figured they were going to put on a good set but they were actually way better than I expected. They played a balls out set and left the acousticy stuff at home.
Jetty Boys - I’m not sure what it is about the Jetty Boys, every time I’ve seen them they’ve had a good set, but they just can’t seem to make it a great one. Unfortunately this one stayed the course, it was some decent stuff.
The Dopamines - What can I say about the Dopamines? If you’ve ever seen them before you pretty much know how it went. Drunken fun the whole way through, these guys never disappoint.
Kurt Baker - Outside time.
Mikey Erg - Best time I’ve ever seen Mikey Erg. This is the closest you’ll come to an Ergs set without the Ergs. He played a bunch of Ergs tunes, some of his own, did a bit of covers and a Psyched to Die tune, make that the best Psyched to Die song. My voice was totally gone after this. He started to play
Danny Vapid and the Cheats - I unwillingly missed this.

Best sets of Friday: Mikey Erg, The Dopamines, Be My Doppelganger, Mixtapes, Firecrackers.

Saturday:

The Quarantines - Always a good time seeing Quarantines. They might not draw the biggest crowd but people seemed to be into it, as they should. As a bonus surprise they had the new 7″ there which I promptly bought.
Sun Puddles - My first time seeing Sun Puddles, the audio seemed a little off but it was still a good set. Hopefully I’ll get to see them a bunch more.
Karmellas Game - Outside break.
The Murderbugers - I missed most of this set but about the half I saw wasn’t bad, not too amazing though. I might have to look them up.
Slow Death – One of the highlights of Insub was seeing the Slow Death again, a last minute addition and a great one at that. I love this band so much, it had laughs, it had good jams, and smoking on stage, what more could you ask for?
The Gooningtons - The Gooningtons are going to rule the world and it started at Insubordination Fest 2011. They had a great set that was super fun. Played the fan favorite song twice in a row and ended with ten minutes of the band members switching instruments.
Vacation - My first time seeing Vacation, they fucking tore it up. Not only are they a great band but they might have had more energy than any other band the whole weekend.
Iron Chic - Iron Chic is another one of those bands that are just good enough not to ever put on a bad performance. I’m really glad they were here; singing along to these songs is always a good time.
The Potatomen - This is a set I’m kind of bummed I missed, I needed a break though. I caught two songs, both ruled.
House Boat - I thought Mikey Erg may have won the fest, until House Boat played. I’ve seen them a handful of times and its always great fun, as was this one. I guess it only make since that their set was the best since they have put out the best pop punk album in years just recently. They even played two Steinways songs (Everybody Loves Raymond and Dead Boyfriend (Which they dedicated to Michelle)).
Emily’s Army - Here’s a band I almost wish I’d have cut some more slack. I was outside most of their set because I’d heard all bad things. I happened to catch their last couple songs and they were pretty good. They seemed like they were having the most fun ever too.
Dear Landlord - Dear Landlord is a lot like the Dopamines, you always know you’re going to have a lot of fun and it’s going to be a great set. Always having a blast seeing Dear Landlord.
Kepi Ghoulie - Missed this, probably shouldn’t have.
The Copyrights - The Copyrights are kind of like Dear Landlord lite these days. It was a killer set and a lot of fun, but after Dear Landlord’s it just wasn’t as good.
Chixdiggit - Maybe the band I was most excited to see, however they were also the biggest let down of the weekend. When they played they were great, the problem is they didn’t do a lot of playing. Now I like a band that jokes and talks a lot (Dopamines, any band Grath is in) but this was just too much. They played for somewhere around 20 minutes and the other hour and a half was “LETS HEAR IT FOR THESE SHIRTS” “LETS HEAR IT FOR CHIXDIGGIT” LETS HEAR IT FOR KEPI” “LETS HEAR IT FOR ___” you get the idea. It was pretty funny for a while but after the 45th time the joke was running thin.

Best sets of Saturday: House Boat, Slow Death, Vacation, Dear Landlord, Iron Chic, And The Gooningtons.

By my estimation House Boat won Insub followed closely by Mikey Erg, The Dopamines, Slow Death and then Vacation. But there were a lot of excellent sets and it was a great fucking weekend.

REVIEW: Firecrackers: Demo

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Baltimore’s Firecrackers are here with their demo, make that their long awaited demo. Six songs, fifteen minutes, it was worth the wait. Taking elements of pop punk and old rock n roll and meshing them into a great sound is what the Firecrackers do. Female fronted vocals fronting the band just add to the already great mix we’ve got going there. I highly recommend you check this out; hopefully it’s the start of a string of great releases from this band.

1. Heart Smash
2. Rock With Me
3. Doll Face
4. Smitten Kitten
5. Breathless
6. The Waltz

SHOWS I SEEN: Insubordination Fest ’10 – June 19th-26th 2010 – Ottobar and Sonar – Baltimore, MD

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Insubordination Fest ’10 – Ottobar and Sonar – Baltimore, MD

June 24th – 26th, 2010

It’s been a long fucking weekend, starting Thursday and going until Sunday. Most of this is due to Insubordination Fest 2010. It was great, but I’m not sure how I’m still standing. All of this in the great Baltimore, MD. Thursday pre-show happened at the Ottobar, it was fun but I only stayed for half. Friday and Saturday were at the shitty Sonar.
Why is sonar shitty? Well first off it was not the fault of the people that put on the event at all. They fought tooth and nail to get things right so everyone could have a good time and not die but fucking Sonar won out in the end. First off their beer was super expensive, I mean $5 for PBR, and they raised the prices just for the event. Then rumor is some car windows got broke Friday night (people suspect this is the club’s front for ‘we’re mad because we didn’t sell as much beer as we wanted’). So Saturday they lock it down. No re-entry, and to top it off they started charging $3-$4 for water. And a side note the bathroom was a fucking nightmare. So yeah, don’t go to Sonar. On the positive side the event was a total blast. I spent most of my time between the smaller 2nd and 3rd stages because they had the best stuff going on, here’s a little what it looked like. (Pretty sure I got the stages and order right, sorry if I screwed up)

PreShow:

The Quarantines – Your average Quarantines set, and by that I mean they were really great. Solid too, I only have 2 complaints. The set started a few minutes early so I missed a little bit of it, and the vocals could have been better, but that’s no fault of the bands, all sound system.

Firecrackers – I saw them last year at the pre-show, they were pretty good. This year they were really good as well, they were a lot more polished then they were last year.

The Proteens – A great set, super fun, I will see them as many times as I can.
Friday – Day 1
PG-13’s (2nd Stage) – Pretty good set, I’ve never seen these guys before but they were really good, great way to start the day.

PETS (3rd Stage) – I only got to see 2 songs, but it was quite good, they had big blow up PETS letters too.

Old Wives (2nd Stage) – Ruled, I only caught about half the set but they were great.

The Sandworms (3rd Stage) – One of the best sets of the fest, I figured the Sandworms were going to be good but goddamn they blew me away, could have listened to them all night.

The Visitors (2nd Stage) – They were ok, didn’t much care for them but pretty good filler.

Dear Landlord (3rd Stage) – A great set as always, another one of the tops of the fest, everybody was really into it.

Full Of Fancy (3rd Stage) – This was my 3rd time seeing Full of Fancy, and it was the best set I’ve ever seen, they covered Marriage too, fucking awesome.

The Hamiltons (2nd Stage) – The Hamiltons won Insub fest. These guys looked a lot like the Ergs for some reason. They had an opener that told some jokes, played a couple of Ramones covers, all their best stuff and a new song, fucking super amazing set.

Iron Chic (3rd Stage) – Great, another band that was better than I expected, and I expected them to be good. They busted out a great cover of Green Day’s ‘She’ too.

The Prozacs (3rd Stage) – While everybody was watching the copyrights the Prozacs were bringing the fun in full fucking force on the 3rd stage, super fun set.

The Hextalls (2nd Stage) – Ah holy shit the Hextalls rule every time, I wished they’d played Ramones T-shirt, but besides that no complaints, they were fucking great.

The Queers (Main Stage) – I’ve seen the Queers about 5 times, this was the 2nd or 3rd best set I’ve seen them do. Very pop heavy, they skipped out on 2 of my favorite songs but Wimpy was there and Kepi came out and did Rockaway Beach with them, it was great.
Saturday – Day 2

Cell Mates (3rd Stage) – Cell Mates always put on a quality show and this was no exception, these guys are on point.

House Boat (2nd Stage) – Fun set, I wished I could have made it up front for this but it was already jam packed by the time I got there, jerks started a little early too.

The Jetty Boys (Main Stage) – Sounded great, I’d love to see them again, hopefully in a better venue (aka better sound quality).

Dead Mechanical (2nd Stage) – Rocked it like always, jerks also started a few min early.

Be My Doppelganger (Main Stage) – One of the most fun sets of the day maybe. They had a beach theme complete with backdrops and blow up beach balls and palm trees (which were going around in the crowd)

Head Home (3rd Stage) – Quality set from these guy, solid as fuck.

Deep Sleep (3rd Stage) – One of the best Deep Sleep sets I’ve seen (and I’ve seen a lot). I was glad to see a good crowd for them finally.

The Dopamines (2nd Stage) – Holy shit, one of the best sets of the weekend, no surprise. I was so wore out after this. Also they were awesome and took their money they made from the fest and bought everyone beers (until it ran out, which was probably quick because beers were expensive as fuck).

The Beatnik Termites (Main Stage) – Solid set as always, played some new stuff, the album is gonna rule.

Baracuda McMurder/Steinways (2nd Stage) – Baracuda McMurder had this spot, I got to stage, see Michelle up there and I think “hm that looks like Michelle, she’s not in this band” about that time they say “We’re the Steinways” SUPRISE STEINWAYS REUNION SET! Another of the most fun, best, ware me the fuck out sets of the weekend. I’m not sure how I was still standing after this was over. And it was hilarious.

The Side Project (3rd Stage) – Threw in a solid set here, so glad they got added, they deserved it. Anyone who was watching OWTH during this missed the fuck out.

Sick Sick Birds (3rd Stage) – One of the best SSB set’s I’ve seen, (another band I’ve seen a lot), they were great and played their asses off.

The Slow Death (3rd Stage) – I would have never guessed this was the same band I was hearing from their CD. Dropped was all the country sound from their songs and replaced with good old punk. Great set by these dudes too, way too many people missed out.

Teenage Bottlerocket (Main Stage) – A little underwhelming, but maybe because I’ve seen them a bunch too. But a good set, average for them, which is still good. It was fun.

The Tattle Tales (2nd Stage) – I was really really surprised by how good the Tattle Tales were. Not that they’re a bad band at all (in fact they’re quite good), but wow, they were good live.

Like Bats (2nd Stage) – Maybe the biggest injustice of Insub Fest (band wise). Like Bats jumped on last minute to fill a spot for the Sidekicks. They played the same time as the Smoking Popes. There were not many people watching. Still they brought it like a headlining act. And I mean fucking brought it, they were fucking great, one of the best sets of the weekend. They’re weren’t many people there but that didn’t stop a few from attempting to crowd surf.

Insubordination Fest Line-up

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Insubordination Fest Pre-Show
June 24th

The Ottobar
2549 N. Howard Street
Baltimore MD 21218

MC Chris
Automatics, The
Charlie Brown
Dirt Bike Annie
Firecrackers
Proteens
Quarantines

Insubordination Fest 2010
June 25th and 26th

Sonar
407 E Saratoga St
Baltimore, MD 21202

American Steel
Baracuda McMurder
Be My Doppelganger
Beatnik Termites
Blacklist Royals
Black Wine
Chinese Telephones
Dead Mechanical
Dear Landlord
Dopamines
Flamingo Nosebleed
Houseboat
Huntingtons
Impulse International
Jetty Boys
Kepi Ghoulie and Friends
Kobanes
Leftovers
Less Than Jake
Max Levine Ensemble
Menzingers
Methadones (Playing “21st Century Power Pop Riot” in it’s entirety)
Nancy
Night Birds
Noise By Numbers
Off With Their Heads
Pillowfights
Protagonist
Prozacs
Queers
Sandworms
Shutouts
Sidekicks
Smokejumper
Smoking Popes
Teenage Bottlerocket
Tenement
Varsity Weirdos
Zatopeks

Canada Invasion at the Insubordination Fest 2010
Presented by Merman Records
Friday June 25th

Sonar, Second Stage

Creeps
Hamiltons
Hextalls
Old Wives
PG-13s
Roman Line
Visitors

There are still a few bands TBA, I will update this list as they are confirmed.

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