SHOWS I SEEN: Insubordination Fest ’12 – June 21th-23rd 2012 – The Ottobar – Baltimore, MD

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The Ottobar – Baltimore, MD
Thursday-Saturday, June 21th-23rd, 2012

Insubordination Fest is the best time of year and this may have been the best one yet! Start to finish it was the most incredible lineup ever, and I had a ton of fun even though I barely survived the weekend. From this stack of greatness I did learn that having too many good bands back to back to back to back to back to back can be a bad thing. There was really no rest period or break. This was most likely a big reason for my extreme exhaustion. I also missed a few sets or half sets that I really wanted to see because sometimes your body demands you put food in it.

Thursday June 21st – Day 1

Promdates - I really thought I’d like seeing these guys more. They were good but not, great. I still bought the two CD’s they had, both are awesome.

The Strait A’s – I was super stoked for this, The Strait A’s are a great band that I was hoping I’d get to see. They had a great set that was fun, wish they’d have played longer.

Billy Raygun – Billy Raygun just put out a great album, they followed that up with a great set at Insub. I thought they might have fucked up and raised the bar too high for everyone else, I was almost right.

Rational Anthem – Rational Anthem brought it hard like always, they had a fucking great set and played almost every song I considered essential. Stellar set list, stellar set. Jose was out with them and they played some Not Yet! songs which were pretty great too. Rational Anthem needs to be a standard of Insubordination Fest.

Bobby Joe Ebola & The Children MacNuggits – I guess you could say that this is the band this year that didn’t really fit in the mold….then again I don’t think these guys fit in any mold. They were great! Before the set everybody was asking me “who are they? Are they any good?” they all seemed to get on board real fast. I hope I can catch Bobby Joe Ebola & The Children MacNuggits sometime soon again.

Firecrackers – Always a good time seeing the Firecrackers, everyone else I talked to seemed to agree and dug their set. They’re one of those bands I’m glad is close by so I can see a lot.

Slow Death – Slow Death pulled out a great drunken set as always, I liked their set from last year better but this certainly quenched my Slow Death thirst.

Dead Mechanical – A band that I’ve seen more times than I can count but it’s always a good time, these guys are always tight. They played some new songs which was a bit of a surprise, they all ruled, which was no surprise.

Mikey Erg – Another case of ‘last year was better’ but I mean, there was no way that last year was going to be topped. Still the Mikey Erg set of 2012 was a blast; I always enjoy any chance to still sing along to Ergs songs with the crowd add-ins just like they were still a band. He played a new song and covered a Superchunk song too, both were great.

Dr. Frank and Friends – Dr. Frank won Insub fest 2012, and I knew it before the set was even over. This was fucking incredible. He had the Mixtapes backing him up as a band (and House Boat for one song), and he was just playing the front man with no interment, except for the solo section. He wasn’t sober, that was clear even before he ran into the mic stand, but he wasn’t even close to being too drunk to be good, he still sounded great. Dr. Frank also endorsed Natty Boh, showing he’s got good taste. After all was over people wanted more but without his ‘real’ band they really didn’t have any, so Dr. Frank came out, said he was so stunned by it all and that he had never had a crowd ask for me (I find this hard to believe!), and sang ‘How’d the Date End?’ A cappella style. Everything about this whole set was amazing.

Friday June 22nd – Day 2

Braceface – Braceface is another set of locals that I’ve seen a few times. They’re good; if they can keep it together they’ve got some good things ahead. Their Insub set was solid.

Dewtons – My second time I’ve seen Dewtons, last time they were awesome, this time they were great as well. The only bummer was, much like last time, I didn’t see any merch for them. If they have stuff out, I want to buy it!

Smokejumper – Much like the day before, Friday didn’t take long to take things to another level. Smokejumper provided that, despite some technical problems they had a fucking awesome set; though how can you not with a bear attack song? I was pretty stoked to see these guys for the first time but they were even better than I expected. After their set there was a surprise mini Blatz cover set with a couple of great guests.

Fatal Flaw – I don’t like Fatal Flaw, this set didn’t change my opinion. I had planned to hang out outside during this time, but it was raining.

Parasites – Real good set as always by the Parasites, Dave had Promdates backing him up as his band. My only real problem with this is they played all the songs way too fast, it was almost at double speed. Besides that though it was good stuff.

Beatnik Termites – My first of a couple annoyances at my stomach. My body demanded food so I missed about half the Beatnik Termites set. When I came in though I was pleasantly surprised to find a lot of people watching their set which hasn’t been the case most of the times that I’ve seen them. What I caught of the set was real good; they played some of those new songs that I’m still hoping we see one day.

Unlovables – Holy shit the Unlovables! They not only took it to another level they completely won Friday. This set was the most fun I’d had all weekend (not counting Dr. Frank). It was kind of a shock because I’d only seen them one time which was the last time they played Insub, they were real good but they were pretty stationary. This time Hallie wasn’t tied down by a bass, she was jumping around with just a mic and did most of the set in the crowd, it was fucking incredible. The Unlovables are back after a long break and I hope they stay. (And if I remember right they played a new song, so hopefully that’s a good sign!)

Plow United – My 3rd time seeing Plow United now, and all three times they were awesome. This wasn’t in Pennsylvania, and that’s where all the Plow fans seem to be so everyone at Insub wasn’t going crazy but there were a good twenty to thirty people that cared a whole fucking lot. It was a lot of fun, they sounded great and they played some new songs that sounded rad, I can’t wait for them to come out.

Danny Vapid and the Cheats – This was probably my most disappointing set of the weekend. I really like the stuff I’ve heard from Danny Vapid and the Cheats (the album and Jetty Boys split) but this set didn’t do it for me at all. I was pretty bored the entire time they played. Though a few other people seemed to enjoy it a lot.

Teenage Bottlerocket – I’m getting to the point where I’ve seen Teenage Bottlerocket so many times it seems like a pretty standard thing. That being said, it was still hella fun to sing along again. I was hoping they’d play ‘Headbanger’ because I know they covered it for the new album…but they didn’t. Quality set by a quality band though.

Saturday June 23rd – Day 3

Trashkanistan – Yet another local, and I’m glad. Trashkanistan has some great things in their future; I like this band a lot. I wish they’d like record something and put it out so I could by it. It was a real good set; I think a lot of people missed out in a secret gem here.

Candy Hearts – Talk about people missing out on a great thing, The Candy Hearts fit that. There still weren’t many people at the Fest at this point, those people fucked up bad. Candy Hearts had one of the most solid sets of the day. I fucking love this band.

Isotopes – I love baseball, I like punk, and I love the Isotopes. They dedicated their set to Cal Ripken Jr, they had the black grease under their eyes, and even asked everyone to remove their hats and sing along to ‘take me out to the ballgame’, and I loved every second of it. The Isotopes were fucking awesome. I was bummed they didn’t have more than their recent 7″ with them, also that they sold out of the rad hats they had.

Weekend Dads/City Mouse – Again I’m pretty pissed at biology, my stupid stomach needed food so I missed both Weekend Dads and City Mouse, two bands that I really wanted to see. I did catch a couple Weekend Dads songs, and they were good. Fuck you need to eat!

Be My Doppelganger – This was the tamest Be My Doppelganger set I’ve seen, though they’re certainly a good enough band that they don’t need to have a full on party on stage to be good. They were great as always, how can they not be when playing ‘Turning Seventeen’?

Lipstick Homicide – In terms of bands playing solidly, Lipstick Homicide game Candy Hearts a run for their money. They were just incredible. In fact I just didn’t get enough of them at Insub Fest; I had to drive to Delaware to see them again the next day!

Dear Landlord – I thought it was odd they weren’t playing later, but in retrospect it was a good thing they didn’t, I might not have survived the day. Dear Landlord is always super fun, I don’t remember a lot of this set because the beer and whiskey was setting in hard but I do remember having fun.

Mixtapes – Mixtapes are going to be a giant band and here’s why. They put out excellent songs and work their asses off playing tons of top quality shows. Insubordination Fest was no exception for them, they put on one of the best sets of the night. They didn’t play ‘Hope is for People’ which bummed me out, but they did cover ‘El Scorcho’ so I guess I can let that slide. Also they played an impromptu mini set after Dr. Frank on the first night which included ‘Poprocks and Coke’.

Emily’s Army – I only saw two of Emily’s Army songs last year and they were surprisingly good so I wanted to check out their full set this year to give them a fair chance. Though my stomach had other ideas, it needed food again. Maybe next time.

House Boat – The House Boat set was great, however it was probably the worst set I’ve seen by them. It wasn’t bad or anything, it was just not up to the level that I’ve come to expect. Still the crowd was super into it and that was great. They also played their amazingly long song ’21st Century Breakroom’ which was unexpected and made me happy.

Mean Jeans – I had my Mean Jeans on for this one. As always it was a party for Mean Jeans. I did get taken out by some ass jumping off stage and landing on me, and only me, but whatever, you get back up. It was a blast. Mean Jeans are becoming among my favorite bands to see.

The Dopamines – The Dopamines are always the best. I was dead tired after House Boat and Mean Jeans but still give it all I had left for the Dopamines. It wasn’t their best performance, but even at their worst the Dopamines are better than 99% of the bands out there. Super fun as always.

Night Birds – I got what was left of my fourth wind for this set which was just in time. You can’t half ass a Night Birds set. They just come in and melt your face off with their pure intensity. Night Birds are a band that always gives it 500% and it shows. They made a heavy case for best set.

The Copyrights – I was so fucking dead by the time the Copyrights played I got up front and left three times, even managed to somehow fall asleep on the side during two songs. Still they sounded great. They played my favorite song ‘Planet Earth Nineteen-Ninety-Four’ for the first time that I’ve seen, even thought I was forced to sit out for that one it was still awesome to hear. Stellar set as always by the Copyrights. I believe at this point they’re the only band to have played every Insub Fest, so they’ve earned the closer spot.


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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
Candy Hearts
City Mouse
Dan Vapid and the Cheats
Dear Landlord
Emily’s Army
Fatal Flaw
House Boat
Lipstick Homicide
Mean Jeans
Mikey Erg
Night Birds
Plow United
Slow Death
Teenage Bottlerocket
Weekend Dads

Weekly Label Profile: Insubordination Records

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Name: Insubordination Records
Lifespan: 1996-Current
Web Site:
Notable Releases/Bands: Apers, Backseat Virgins, Be My Doppleganger, Beatnik Termites, Copyrights, For Science, Hard-Ons, Proteens, Radio With Guts, Unlovables
Started by Reggie Silvestri and Pat Kim in 1996 for Beatnik Termites albums, the label quickly grew from there and Chris Thacker was welcomed on board. In 2004 Mark Enoch brought Knock Knock Records into Insubordination Records and things continued to grow from there. Even today Insubordination records is well known for putting out quality pop punk for many years now, not to mention the now yearly Insubordination Fest in Baltimore, 3 days of pop punk that everybody loves

REVIEW: Short Attention: Insubordination Fest 2007 CD/DVD

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shortinsubEverybody’s favorite thirty second song pop punk band, Short Attention, played Insubordination Fest 2007 (along with a lot of other great bands). If you weren’t able to make it out or simply want to relive they’re killer thirty seven song set all you’ve got to do is go on over to Insubordination Records site and pick up this CD/DVD set. You get, as you may have guessed, a CD and a DVD of the set they played. They throw a lot of their jams in here as well as some quick cover songs. As with the other Insubordination Fest 2007 both video and sound quality are pretty good for this live recording. If you’re down for some quick catchy songs about everything from Toilet Paper to Asian Girls you’ll like Short Attention. And sense this super group rarely tours or plays shows this CD/DVD is a rare treat to see them live.

1. Quit Your Job
2. Numbers
3. Another Girl
4. Double Duce
5. John Locke
6. Freakshow
7. Pointless Breakup Song
8. Cabbage
9. The Moon
10. Suburban Grit
11. You Suck
12. Kill the DJ
13. Dentonator
14. Bitch
15. Lunch Break
16. Co-Ed Kelly #12
17. Slept the Night Alone
18. On the Last
19. Friday Night
20. Cellphone
21. Dislikes: Anyone Who Drinks Pepsi
22. You’re Going to the Storm
23. We Just Go On
24. That Prozac Instant
25. Cabin Fever
26. Pat
27. Tortoise and Hare
28. Revolving Door
29. Sister Ray (Abridged)
30. Raptor Island
31. Quiz
32. Out of Toilet Paper
33. Pop Ice
34. I Have an Unhealthy Thing With Asian Girls
35. Tom’s Afraid of Clowns
36. Don’t Start a Band
37. Grape Crush

Get it from Insubordination Records HERE

Get Insubordination Fest 2007 from Amazon HERE

REVIEW: The Unlovables: Heartsickle

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heartsickleCome armed with your toothpaste and don’t tell your dentist because this record is so sweet it’s sure to give you cavities. Somewhat less poppy their previous record but still heavy on catchy songs and sweet lyrics about boys this will leave you wanting to know where the girls like Hallie in the world are hiding. The duel greatness of pop punk labels Crafty Records and Whoa Oh Records are the ones bringing us this sugar-coated collection of thirteen songs that you have to sing along to (which may get you some strange looks if your a dude). Listening to this album will make it seem like everything’s alright for a while, except for the fact that your single and there seems to be some hope of that the girl that’s just right is out there and not with you, (if your single). This CD/Record whichever you have is a good buy, go get it, put it on and enjoy.

1. Leave Me Alone
2. Let You Go
3. Samantha
4. Let’s Not Fight
5. Disaster
6. Everything’s Overrated
7. Dance Party For 2 (Your Room, 3 A.M.)
8. What You Want/ What You Got
9. No Way
10. Never Saw It Comin’
11. Have You Ever?
12. Sweet Sweet Boy
13. Crazy Tonight

Get it from Whoa Oh Records HERE

Get Heartsickle from Amazon HERE

REVIEW: Insubordination Fest 2007 CD/DVD

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insubInsubordination Fest 2007 happened, a lot of people went, but if you didn’t get the chance Insubordination Records was kind enough to put out a CD/DVD complication of the Fest. We’ve got twenty eight tracks, one each (more or less) by a different band that played Insubordination Fest. I’m not the biggest fan of compilations, but I missed the fest and this has a ton of pop punk greatness on it. Sound and video quality is quite good, and you can generally come by this pretty cheaply. So if you’re a fan of some of the groups listed here it’s worth picking up, you’ll get your money’s worth quickly.
1. Chinese Telephones – Better Than The Next
2. Sick Sick Birds – Second To Last
3. Paper Dragons – Midnight Bike Rides
4. Short Attention – Cabbage / The Moon
5. The Riptides – Ottawa
6. The Unlovables – If You Were Here
7. The Ergs – Most Violent Rap Group / Pray For Rain
8. Head – Am I Fresh?
9. Hi-Life – California Girls
10. The Varsity Weirdos – Codependency
11. Banner Pilot – Bender
12. The Backseat Virgins – Beating Heart
13. For Science – Leeloo
14. Dead Mechanical – The Only Bad Thing That Ever Happened
15. The AV Club – Girl From Mars
16. The Guts – Easy Come, Easy Go
17. Wimpy Rutherford – I Like Young Girls/This Place Sucks
18. The Leftovers – Hypnotized
19. The Parasites – Hang Up
20. Ben Weasel – Joanie Loves Johnny
21. The Steinways – Are You Fucking Kidding Me?
22. Ben Weasel – Cindy’s On Methadone (DVD only)
23. The Retarded – Gasoline
24. The Beatnik Termites – Somebody Else’s Baby
25. The Apers – It’s All Over You Know
26. The Copyrights – Thinking With The Lights On
27. Teenage Bottlerocket – Radio
28. The Mr. T Experience – She’s Coming (Over Tonight)

Get it from Insubordination Records HERE

REVIEW: Insubordination Fest 08 CD/DVD

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insub08Insubordination Fest 2008 came and went and once again I could not make it. However this year as last year Insubordination Records is doing CD/DVD sets. This compilation gives you a little bit of everything from this smorgasbord of pop punk tastiness. Things open up with a little bit of a harder edge with Deep Sleep’s top quality jam “Text Book Timebomb”. We’ve also got the last Insubordination Fest appearances from the now broken up Ergs! as well as Dateless. And a soon to be disbanded Steinways has they’re second to last Insubordination Fest (hopefully nothing goes wrong and they show up for this years). Also included are some rare appearances by reunited Doc Hopper, Sweet Baby and Weston. The Audio and Video quality are both much better than last years sets. If you’ve got an extra few bucks in your pocket and like the pop punk style of music you’ll be happy with owning this set.

1. Deep Sleep – Text Book Timebomb
2. Dopamines – Easy Living
3. Dear Landlord – Don’t Just Stand There
4. Off With Their Heads – Die Today
5. Parasites – Young and Stupid
6. The Drunken Cholos – We’d Have a Riot Doing Heroin
7. Kepi Ghoulie – Girlfriend
8. Cletus – I Don’t Mind
9. Ann Beretta – Angry All the Time
10. Copyrights – 57 North
11. The Ergs! – Bill Moon
12. Dateless – Taking Over Me
13. Backseat Virgins – Striptease
14. Proteens – Nothing but Trouble
15. Karmella’s Game – The Pit
16. Chinese Telephones – Stay Around
17. Doc Hopper – Zapruder Frame 313
18. 20 Belows – Look Out Below
19. Lemuria – Mechanicals
20. Leftovers – Dance With Me
21. Steinways – Today is the Day We are Getting Married
22. Zatopeks – Jumble Sale
23. Beatnik Termites – Red Haired Girl
24. The Crumbs – Girl You Make Me Rock and Roll
25. Sweet Baby – Baby x7 (I Love You)/Pretty Baby
26. Weston – Retarded
27. Sludgeworth – Someday
28. Sloppy Seconds – Let’s Kill a Trendy
29. The Queers – Girl About Town

Get it from Insubordination Records HERE

Get Insubordination Fest ’08 from Amazon HERE

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