newspaper says: come to party

From the Washington Post Express:

What's the secret to a long-rocking band? Unbridled passion? Unwavering commitment? For D.C.'s Max Levine Ensemble, endurance has meant something far simpler.

"The band just wasn't really able to break up," says vocalist David "Spoonboy" Combs. "There were a couple points when it looked like the band had reached its conclusion. But we couldn't agree on it, so we just kept playing together."

The group's brand of catchy pop punk might seem out of place in a town known for aggressive hardcore and mathy post-punk, but Combs isn't worried about that. "If someone writes us off because we have a hook in our song instead of a breakdown, I don't take offense to that," he shrugs.

The Ensemble's connection to D.C. runs deeper than musical aesthetics, anyway. "I think we've always been more connected based on types of shows we play rather than on the type of music we play: shows where people are finding wherever they can to put it on, shows that have a more politicized DIY aspect and have more political lean to the lyrics."

Many of the band's songs are so upbeat that you might be fooled into thinking they were simple, tossed-off tunes. But Combs says to listen closely: "[Our sound is] catchy, it's more fun, but we've also broached heavier things in our lyrics." Want proof? Check out, where you can find lyrics and free MP3s of their entire back catalog.

For TMLE's upcoming 10-year anniversary show, the band will be releasing a greatest-hits disc — except all of the tracks are new. "We have old records that we're running out of, and we thought, rather than re-pressing these old records that sound so different, we would rerecord them," Combs explains. "In some cases, we've been playing these songs for years, and they've progressed and changed. So, we wanted to document that."

From the Washington City Paper:

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.


hello russia.

in case you hadn't heard, we were recently interviewed for the russian zine "behind punk."  over and out.


in anticipation of our upcoming 10 YEAR ANNIVERSARY PARTY, we recently decided to re-record 13 classic max levine ensemble tracks to reflect how we play them now.  versions of all the songs were released on various records between 2000 and 2005, but this new/old record stands on its own.  some of the songs sound drastically different from the originals, some are just recorded a little better with better amps and shit.  plan-it-x records is releasing the CD, and no breaks records is doing the LP.  both will be released at the aforementioned 10 YEAR ANNIVERSARY PARTY.  be there!


1. Ghost Song
2. Pink
3. Poop Farm
4. Leopard Print Girl
5. Dittography
6. Nihilism
7. Pablo Pinkpants
8. Fuck You I'm Not PC?
9. Defenestration
10. Tidal Wave
11. Jazzonia/Back to Point Zero
12. The Craftiness of Miss Oh Here We Go Again
13. Hell of a Week


aye! just posted an interview we did in october!  check it out here.

oh and tonight (saturday, dec 4th) i (spoonboy) will be interviewed on the punkcdsampler podcast sometime between 6pm and 9pm: 

10 years toooooooo OLD...

WELL... any way you look at it we've been a band for 10 years now.  it's been a long time.  so for better or for worse we're throwing a party and we'd like you to come celebrate, because we all did this together.  if you ever booked a show for us, played a show with us, let us stay at your house, let us borrow your amp, drove us somewhere, wrote us a letter (email), listened to our records (or mp3s), or came to a show (even if you stood in the back), you are partially responsible because you encouraged us, so come to our party, BECAUSE WE DID THIS TOGETHER!!! (that is, you also share the blame.)

COME ONE AND COME ALL - if not for the music then at least to pick up your commemorative pillow case.

Saturday January 8th 2011

(10 years too old dc punk pop - record release!)
GOOD LUCK (bloomington, in - ummm, beautiful intricate melodic songz)
BOMB THE MUSIC INDUSTRY (brooklyn, ny - spazzy synth punk ska something good)
DELAY (columbus, ohio - green day meets the replacements meets basement pop)

1811 14th St. NW Washington DC
tickets are available here.



P.S. in case you're interested, (and you shouldn't be), our UK tour blog is finished. 
view at your own risk.



unfortunately we've decided to keep a tour blog for our UK tour:




oh hey, we made this music video for our song "my name is john." hoooppe you liiike it!


if yer in the UK (or Ireland) watch out. we're coming to getcha.

it's us, THE MAX LEVINE ENSEMBLE from washington DC

and ONE NIGHT STAND IN NORTH DAKOTA (onsind) from durham, UK


15 - DUBLIN, IRELAND (no onsind)
19 - DERBY, UK

DETAILS ARE BELOW (and to the right)!!

noooooo breaks

heya, we're still working on this website, but i wanted to relay a quick message from traffic street records re: NO BREAKS RECORDS, the label that put out our OK SMARTYPANTS LP:

"Long story short, Stewart over at No Breaks Records shipped a box with $1,200.00 worth of records in it and it fucking disappeared. He's been trying for the last couple of months to get his money back from the US Postal Service (he had purchased $1,200.00 worth of insurance on the shipment) but as anyone that's had to file a claim in the past knows, USPS will put you through hoop after hoop, and basically do whatever it takes to weasel out of actually paying out on an insurance claim, delaying shit for years until you realize that the money's never coming and just give up.

Through No Breaks, Stewart's released a shit ton of great records from bands like Full of Fancy, The Max Levine Ensemble, New Creases, The Guts, Sass Dragons, The Prozacs, and lots more. He's also got a huge distro with great prices on tons of awesome records AND just so happens to be one of the nicest dudes I know.

The loss of that $1,200.00 was almost enough to kill No Breaks, but Stewart's been working like a mad man and pulling his shit together and it looks like he might be able to pull through and keep on. He's got a few awesome releases on his schedule (including Full of Fancy's "Liquid Nature" on vinyl!) and I'm sure he can use whatever support he can get right now.

POINT BEING... if you feel like buying some records, go buy them from No Breaks! Great records, fair prices, fast shipping -what more could you ask for?"


god damned internet

it seems our website fell apart, but luckily we were able to get this new theme up pretty quickly.  it's still a work in progress, so things might be sort-of breaky in the interim. in the meantime we'll be laying pretty low the next couple of months, but we've got a UK tour coming up in october so if that's where you live, oh shit, we're coming to getcha. beyond that if i may refer you to the sha sha column on your right, it should offer you whatever else you need.