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Ten years is an impressive milestone for any band, but it is an even more remarkable achievement in D.C., where the tendency is to implode before playing a record release show. The Max Levine Ensemble is celebrating its 10-year anniversary with a party at the Black Cat, though you’re most likely to have encountered its scrappy brand of pop-punk in a church auditorium or crowded, overheated basement. With its history of serious-minded harDCore, the District can be a tough town for pop-punk. But a quick skim of David “Spoonboy” Combs’ lyrics—particularly on the excellent Them Steadily Depressing, Low Down Mind Messing, Post Modern Recession Blues EP—reveals an astute political consciousness that owes more to Dischord’s heyday than anything from the Lookout! Records catalog.
THE MAX LEVINE ENSEMBLE PERFORMS WITH GOOD LUCK, BOMB THE MUSIC INDUSTRY, AND DELAY AT 9 P.M. AT THE BLACK CAT, 1811 14TH ST. NW. $10. (202) 667-7960.