Welcome to Max and the Marginalized's page/blog, etc. We are a political band in Los Angeles. We write and record a new song every week (as of this writing we've been doing this for 32 weeks straight), always about something that week which we find worthy of our protestations. All the songs are available for download right here.

The idea is simple, really. How can bands claiming to want to make a difference write a song about, say, ending the war and then hold on to it to make a perfectly polished recording of it for their album which will come out in a year, secretly and shamefully hoping the war lasts until then so their song, marketed properly, will still be relevant?

We don't have any interest in that. We write songs about things that are happening now, record them, and release them with the hopes that they can be a small part of a big conversation that leads to real progress.

All of our songs appear on The Huffington Post with little blogs accompanying them explaining what they are about. Those can be found right here. We are also on MySpace like every other band in the universe, but are trying to move the operation to the non-Murdoch world at our Facebook Page.

Lineup: Max Bernstein - guitar + vocals. Dave Watrous - Bass. Jon Ryggy - Drums. Our friend Max Waker is a recording engineer and makes cartoons.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Moving to Wordpress

Moving this blog over to maxmarginal.wordpress.com due to better functionality and the built in MP3 player. Say hello over there please - thanks!

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Go make your living, boy. I'll go on fighting.

Since we're a tiny, tiny band that doesn't get a whole lot of action on our MySpace, blog, or really anywhere, the little correspondence we get resonates a lot. There's a comment on our MySpace that someone left the other day that said that the songs were great but it's time to stop and pick the best ones because the Bush years are over.

I hope he's right, but let's take a quick look at the elephant in the living room shitting in the corner, shall we? John McCain is running on the very same failed policies of the Bush years. Yeah, he believes in global warming. If that's what passes for progress when we are at a war that has killed over 4,000 troops, not counting suicides of returning vets, which are estimated well into the hundreds, perhaps the thousands.

The Straight Talk Express is a Trojan Horse, and one that I unfortunately believe is going to be very hard to stop - what talents we have are best served doing what little three dudes with instruments can do to place the tiniest of screws in the tires. Heaven knows it isn't much, but with a very popular Republican running on the same policies of his predecessor, an abortion ban on the ballot in South Dakota (you'll be hearing about this from us on Thursday), close congressional and Senate elections that could give us a veto-proof majority, and a lack of care for Veterans that may unfortunately last long after this election no matter who wins, I would say that the Bush years and whatever aftershocks we'll face from them are not over, and won't be for a long time. When they are, maybe we'll stop and pick the best ones.

I'm too tired to proofread, I just got home from seeing the almighty Leatherface and haven't gotten that sweaty at a show I wasn't playing since I was 20. Nite!

Monday, May 19, 2008

Ted Leo sticks it to Radiohead, which makes him even cooler.

If you've never listened to Ted Leo and the Pharmacists, I reluctantly ask that you do so now. I say reluctantly because while they are the best band in the world right now, if you listen to Max and the Marginalized and have never heard TL/Rx, you will listen to Ted + co. and consider the distinct possibility that we are a mere Wayne Newton to his Frank Sinatra. Indeed, if I could write songs as well as his I wouldn't have to write so damn many.

My bandmates will undoubtedly give me shit about being this self-deprecating and revealing of our influences in our public forum, but the fact is I spent a lot of hours driving late at night on tour with The Actual blasting Ted Leo to keep me awake while everyone else was passed out, taking in another day of playing songs I had written years ago that didn't mean much to me anymore. Repeated listens to such vitriolic political tunefulness from someone who clearly liked both 7 Seconds AND Thin Lizzy as much as I did made me itch to get home and write songs about what I read on the New York Times opinion page, rather than sing songs on the Warped Tour about my ex-girlfriend from 3 years prior. Hence, my happiest dive into debt ever, Max and the Marginalized.

Anyways, we're always down for a bleeding of a sacred cow here at Marginalized HQ, and I just read this interview with Ted where the interviewer asks him about Radiohead's releasing In Rainbows the way they did, and his answer is just awesome:

Honestly, I'm kind of pissed off at Radiohead for doing that because they're fucking multi-millionaires. So fuck them, you know, they can do whatever the fuck they want. It makes it harder for everybody else to try to figure out a workable idea. It's like a red herring or a cul-de-sac to me to go down that road. Now, if the whole world becomes 'you release your music for free' and playing live becomes the way that you get compensated for it, then so be it. But it's not at that stage right now, and the overhead for actually making a record with a label and putting it out still requires an investment, and nobody wants to lose money. Nobody wants to fucking wind up in the gutter in a year or two. The Radiohead thing also was like a weird scam in my mind because they knew that they were going to be releasing the hard copies of the record eventually. It's bizarre man... Public Enemy's been doing it for years as well. And that's a whole different model, that's just like 'you know what, we're just giving our shit away on the Internet. You wanna come to the shows... and we're self-releasing our record, etcetera etcetera.' We're not quite in a position to be able to accommodate either model properly, like having big label support or doing things completely gratis. It'll shake out as it will and we'll roll with it.

As a band who uses a similar model (we got our idea from Juliana Hatfield, whose b-sides she sells on the honor system would still be cash well spent at $1000 per song), I can't help but agree. They weren't taking a chance, and it was an amazing publicity piece that got them into the fucking Time 100, for doing what was really nothing more than leaking their album with a donate button. Last month we spent $1600 recording and made $340 in donations which was more than I ever expected to make on those things, and I'm honored that a few people shelled out 40 bucks for the Marginography - and while Radiohead are a fine band, but he's totally right. It took no balls for them to release their album that way, and tons of balls for Ted to call them out for this since the rock and roll pasture has no cow more sacred.

So, good work, Ted... and if you have a Google Alert for yourself (this goes for you too, Ms. Hatfield) and have landed on our page here, give us a listen and say hi 'cause we love you. Thanks!

Thursday, May 15, 2008

The Second Time Around

The fact that repeated deployments are killing our military is nothing new, but it hit home for a few of us last week. Like many urban twentysomethings with privileged upbringings, this war has demanded next to nothing from my peer group -- if it had, we might not have such a flaccid anti-war movement among us.

Not knowing anyone who had served on the ground, I and many others found gripping, chilling accounts of daily life as a soldier in Iraq reading Colby Buzzell's blog My War, one of the best and most widely read blogs coming out of Iraq.

Buzzel is being redeployed for a second tour in Iraq three years after leaving the army. He mused about his possible obituary in a heartbreaking op-ed in the San Francisco chronicle last week, which inspired this week's song The Second Time Around.

The Second Time Around

Write the info on the luggage tags
Loop the elastic through the handle on the bag
They say it ain't that bad, it ain't a folded flag
If that counts for something
400 some-odd days behind, they might not be over
The flipping calendar in mind, July through October
It's an awful lot of time, does that count for something?

And some might say that they signed up for that
When they wrote their names on down
And it's bad enough to readjust to the silence in this town
They'll keep jumping up the ante, in for a penny, in for a pound
The bombs get louder the second time around

400 some-odd days ahead, so much for high hopes
There's things they'd rather do instead, they're stretched like a tightrope
They say they planned ahead, but you know and I know

No one signed up for that when they wrote their names on down
And it's bad enough to readjust to the silence back in this town
They'll up the ante, in for a penny, in for a pound
The war gets slower the second time around

Monday, May 12, 2008

Just in case you didn't already see this Bill O'Reilly clip...

This is getting constantly put up and taken down on YouTube. Hopefully my friend Rami's link will work for a while:

Crooks and Liars has it here as well.

I think it's one of the 5 funniest things I've ever seen. Turn up speakers for maximum joy.

What every Monday lately has been...

Me going "Hmm... Maybe tomorrow's primary will be the last one and then we'll be in the general election, where some of us in the blogostomy bag have been hanging out for the past two months since we think that winning back the White House is more important than chiming in on a battle that is unfortunately very easy to write about."

West Virginia: I don't know you well. I've played one show outdoors in Logan and it was a lot of fun. I once ate at your Perkins. You're kind of shaped like a deformed teapot. I see no reason why you, next to only Delaware in the "most-forgotten" states category, can't make a name for yourself for something other than mine collapses by ending this tomorrow in one fell swoop. Thanks!

Leatherface comes to SoCal

To any of my readers and listeners in the SoCal area where I am:

One of the greatest bands of all time, Leatherface of Sunderland, UK, are coming to town next week. They'll be at Knitting Factory LA on Monday the 19th and Chain Reaction in Anaheim the following night and I will be at both shows screaming like a little girl.

I never thought Leatherface would come back to the US (I saw them last in 2000 with Hot Water Music, and I believe that was the last time they were stateside.)

They're one of the most unique and beautiful bands to ever grace punk rock, and less importantly, an obvious and gracious influence on all things Marginalized.

Here they are in all their withered glory playing "Hoodlum" in 2007:

Saturday, May 10, 2008

Welcome friends from C+L

We <3 Crooks and Liars and as the (as far as we know) only band in the progressive blogosphere, being on their page is like making the cover of Rolling Stone!

Please feel free to download some songs and we hope you enjoy your stay here at our page. Thanks for visiting!

Friday, May 9, 2008

Consider the Source (A Song and Cartoon for John McCain's Credibility)

It was laughable to watch John McCain, who has proven to either have a bad memory, a problem telling the truth, or both, to ask that we "consider the source" in response to Arianna Huffington's claim that he told her he didn't vote for Bush in 2000. Then again, he doesn't remember who he was back then, so why should he remember what he said either?

This is a man who flouts campaign finance laws by flying around from speech to speech on the Sugar Momma Express, telling people between landings that their economic hardships are largely psychological. He makes repeated misstatements about Iran training Al Qaeda. Loudly denies and later admits quietly to getting into a physical fight with a member of congress. Anytime John McCain opens his mouth, it's worth considering the source.

Enjoy this week's song and cartoon.

(h/t Emptywheel, Paul Waldman)

Consider the Source
As my television box would tell it
You're a trailblazing renegade of sorts
With convictions of steel, a dead even keel
A chara-character tour de force
Denying that you spoke against the king when he ascended
Now that you've followed him along with no remorse
So the next time you call someone a liar, consider the source

I've heard you give a lecture on morals
On integrity, fidelity and more
They fail to mention your carousing with the heiress
Whoever knows how long before your first divorce
You said you never would accept her contributions
As the Sugar Momma Express rides on course
So the next time you call someone a liar, consider the source

7 or 8 years ago I might have less to say
I don't care who you were back then, but who you are today
I don't expect no talking heads to say what you're about
So I'll keep singing all these songs until the truth comes out

They said nothing on the message multipliers
So I won't put a lot of stock in their reports
And indeed there's not a word they've said about you
That's been true since O.J. had his day in court
They'll say nothing of Cindy's missing taxes
Or the pastor you chased down to endorse
So the next time they wax about your honor, consider the source

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Pretend he's a giant...

Friday, May 2, 2008

Fucking awesome Teflon John video!

Animation courtesy of Max Waker, who engineers all our songs as well. Enjoy =)

Thursday, May 1, 2008

Each week a new national outrage goes underreported beneath the primary noise. Last week it was the Pentagon puppets, this week it’s the deplorable living conditions at Fort Bragg, reported by a military father with a camera and a conscience.

If the people who are devoting their lives to fighting for one side of this primary devoted about 2% of their attention to some of the injustices being committed on the current administration’s watch, like the fact that we have soldiers returning from 15-month tours to living spaces not fit for a prison, we’d probably live in Candyland by now.

Enjoy this week’s song “If That Don’t Make You Madder”, and go to Vetvoice for a much better view of the tragedy at Fort Bragg than this highlight reel we put together.

If That Don't Make You Madder

I wasn’t born with a sense of outrage, just a sense of trust
7 years of disappointments, it’s managed to adjust
It’ll stay that way longer after this horrifying chapter is complete
And I’ve looked at all the pictures, kept them playing on a loop
Long enough to keep me angry, but the volume can’t cut through
The warring megaphones and billboards
And bumper stickers parked along my street

‘Cause sometimes it don’t matter which side you’re on
You don’t have to pick a side to look at this and know it’s wrong
And I don’t care what argument you make
If this don’t make you madder
If this don’t make you madder what will it take

You won’t see it reflected in the water on the floor
There’s a different kind of shit he’s in just a dozen hours before
They’ll cut corners instead of losses
But never pay respect that they demand
So if you’re begging for the perfect at the very good’s expense
May you focus on some things, that are actually worth fighting against
I know they’re fighting back now, some of us could really use a hand

‘Cause sometimes it don’t matter which side you’re on
You don’t have to pick a side to look at this and know it’s wrong
And I don’t care what argument you make
If this don’t make you madder
If this don’t make you madder what will it take
What will it take

Wednesday, April 30, 2008

On Rev. Wright

“Whatever relationship I had with Reverend Wright has changed as a consequence of this,” Mr. Obama said Tuesday. “I don’t think that he showed much concern for me. More importantly, I don’t think he showed much concern for what we’re trying to do in this campaign and what we’re trying to do for the American people.”

Don't you think that maybe it would've been wise to act as thought the statements were an affront to more than just his campaign's intentions? I am supporting Sen. Obama and don't think that people should take this whole Wright controversy seriously and I'm disgusted by the amount of airtime it's received... but c'mon guy. Give the people what they want, and at least pretend that you think that he was offending more than just your campaign. Sheesh.

Of course I don't care about the Reverend Wright scandal as I'm supporting Obama and have half a brain. It would be nice to see someone smack this one out of the park... right now it's just bouncing around the damn infield.

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Since no one's making any noise about the Pentagon sock puppets...

It has now been four days since the Times broke the story of the Pentagon sock puppets. The networks in question have all but refused to make any noise about this, so we did.

Thanks to Buelahman for the awesome video!

Whose Face Can You Save?

They're retired, still spitting in the feed
The doctored up analysis mapped out to mislead
Get creative with the facts
Cyrano de Bergeracs just offscreen
The floating Chyrons omit
The names of these morticians who wrote the script
Put some credits where they’re due
Right on message right on cue, and quite full of it
What a humorless skit
Where the cue cards from the coroners read illegitimate

They’ve got their hands in the backs of the heads when they start talking
So falsely detached from the corpses in the coffins
They fire off the blanks and the pallbearers starting towards the grave
Whose face can you save?

The network knows it’s no good for its health
To turn the camera around and focus on itself
A bit of fiction for me and you
Good thing they take those medals off before they do
They’ll hang around until the story goes away
It’ll fall right off the page just give it a couple of days
There’s so much spin to sell all along the road to hell
So get on your way, and watch what you say
Won’t someone tell me, is this ABC or the DPRK

They’ve got their hands in the backs of the heads when they start talking
So falsely detached from the corpses in the coffins
They fire off the blanks and the pallbearers starting towards the grave
Whose face can you save?

My cynicism’s goalposts moved again
Profiteers and puppeteers will get theirs in the end

They’ve got their hands in the backs of the heads when they start talking
So falsely detached from the corpses in the coffins
They fire off the blanks and the pallbearers starting towards the grave
Whose face can you save?

To download this song, right-click and choose "save link as".

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Another nice clip from Buelahman, this one for "Now That We Know..."

Thanks, Buelahman!

Friday, April 18, 2008

The problem.

I usually give David Brooks more credit than many of my peers because I think he's pretty insightful and funny - however, this is not the case where anything remotely relevant is concerned - i.e. I like his posts about our behavior at the beach but not about elections.

This morning he spits out this latest piece of douchebaggery:

Charles Gibson and George Stephanopoulos of ABC News are taking a lot of heat for spending so much time asking about Jeremiah Wright and the “bitter” comments. But the fact is that voters want a president who basically shares their values and life experiences. Fairly or not, they look at symbols like Michael Dukakis in a tank, John Kerry’s windsurfing or John Edwards’s haircut as clues about shared values.

Would someone (with a bigger mouthpiece than me) tell him that voters care about nonsense like that because people like David Brooks keep talking about how important it is?

By the way, Obama's response to that stupid fucking flag pin question should've been something about how wearing a flag pin doesn't make someone any more patriotic than someone who doesn't, much like how Charles Gibson's glasses, regardless of what they may symbolize, can't hide the fact that he has the intelligence of a gopher for asking such a dumb question.

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Now That We Know That They Knew

Since Bush’s bankshot into the Friday evening news dumpster that he had signed off on torture and that the top echelon of his administration had all sat in a closed room to learn about and rubber stamp all the details of our illegal and unsavory interrogation techniques, the press has continued to ask how Barack Obama should answer for preferring orange juice to coffee, not how Condoleezza Rice, Dick Cheney, et al should answer for committing crimes against humanity after years of statements to the contrary.

ABC News, which originally broke the torture story ended its very short streak of un-patheticness when George Stephanopoulos and Charles Gibson dragged us through a debate filled with loaded questions that spoke to their Sunday morning circle jerks far more than to the concerns of the American people, and did not mention the torture issue once.

Now that we know that they knew, we should be holding the administration accountable for it, and demand that the press take a break from its how-will-it-play-narrative-meta drivel and actually cover the fact that top administration officials knew about torture and gave it a green light.

If that sounds like a good idea to you, go sign the ACLU’s petition to demand an independent prosecutor to investigate this, and hop on the letter-writing campaign asking local papers to cover this since the nationals have proven useless.

Sorry about the tome, sometimes it’s necessary. Here is our song (not our first on this matter) called “Now That We Know That They Knew”, about how we’d like to see some proof that no one is above the law and that the phrase “and justice for all” includes people at the top as well.

Now That We Know That They Knew

Now that we know that they knew
It’s what we all along suspected
It’s hardly unexpected but it’s now unquestionably true
So won’t you finally change the subject, stop obsessing over subtext
For a second fix your cameras to the proof
In the Friday data dumpster, for once demand an answer, maybe two
Now that we all know that they knew
There’s a clear-cut course of action
To respond to these infractions, yes it’s true
It’s way overdue

I’ve got no patience for fighters avoiding conflict like the plague
And I don’t believe in Hell so I thank God we’ve got the Hague
These kinds of crimes demand a certain action be pursued
There’s little time and oh so much to do
Now that we know that they knew

Now that we know that they knew
Can we just shut up for a second
There’s more important things that beckon than
A couple words so quickly misconstrued
Oh he got juice instead of coffee!
As the screaming echoes softly out of view
Is that the least you can do?

I’ve got no ear for language hypothetical and vague
And hell won’t get here quickly so let’s send them to the Hague
These kinds of crimes demand certain action be pursued
There’s little time and oh so much to do
Now that we know that they knew

Monday, April 14, 2008

Blog is the new punk?

Just read this nice bit at Attackerman about the similarities between blogs and punk.

A parallel I wholeheartedly embrace! Except, alas, it only works in theory. The hardcore scene that gave me succor — full of boys with Abe Lincoln beards and girls who steal soy milk from the campus cafeteria — is, alas, ridden with Luddites. You’d think that blogs would mean the end of zines, since they cost nothing to produce and are vastly more efficient to distribute, but in the final issue of HeartattaCk, there’s an attack on blogs as inauthentic and soulless. I know the CrimethInc kids have an uncomfortable relationship with blogs, something that has a lot to do with their off-the-grid anarchist politics. Plus you can’t place a stack of blogs at your merch table next to the go-vegan pamphlets and DIY-tampon instructor kits. If blogs are the new punk rock, is punk rock the new Emerson, Lake and Palmer?

Punk came along at a time when there were too many gatekeepers protecting a form of music that had become irrelevant, but dangled access to distribution too high above the heads of kids with more soul than training and 'cause them to look for another way. If that's not what blogs are than I don't know what is, and I always like to say that it's why I don't really plan on having Max and the Marginalized "graduate" from the blogs to some more formal means of distribution.

So what about blogs as punk? Obama-ites and Clinton-ites fighting one another like rudies and punks on the west coast and in England, hardcore kids and punks in the east, while the other half sings loudly for unity in the scene, declaring that too much infighting will destroy the greater cause? Is Arianna Huffington Greg Ginn (or is Kos?) Is this totally stupid?

Anyways, I'm in that Democrats and Progressives united front:

Nice clip for Teflon Jon

Much thanks to Buelahman for putting this clip together!

Sunday, April 13, 2008

New download/donate page!

So, since MySpace has decided they will do anything they can to keep people from linking to any content not on MySpace, the think where I had people right-click to download from that page over there doesn't work anymore. MySpace seems to be the newest Newscorp property to cause me trouble, leaving only The Simpsons unblemished.

Thus, this is now the download/donate page. All these downloads are done on THE HONOR SYSTEM. Here's how this works: I have all these songs available for for download. There's a link to donate some money to us via paypal. If you can, please donate. We hate to ask, but we have to because we spend a lot of money making these songs - far more than we did when we first started. We spend $25 an hour in studio time and each song takes a grand total of about 16 hours so if you enjoy our work, please give a little. iTunes charges 99 cents a song. I think that asking for 50 is not too big a deal. If you can give more than by all means do, and if you can't afford anything please don't let that stop you from downloading. We want you to have the songs.

So your first and finest option is to have the complete works thus far, the "Marginography". This is 31 songs complete with a PDF of all the lyrics and a little blurb on what each song is about:


Suggested donation: $10 to $50

Click here to donate!

Option to is to get them a song at a time. Here are all the songs in reverse chronological order. To download, right-click (or Ctrl-click on a mac) and choose "Save Target As" or "Save Link As", depending on your browser. Newest at the top. Please put on your ipod, send to your friends, etc. Thanks!


33. The Second Time Around

32. Consider the Source

31. If That Don't Make You Madder

30. Whose Face Can You Save?

29. Now That We Know That They Knew

28. Teflon John

27. Q + A

26. Free Evenings and Weekends

25. Vicki Where are You?

24. Kiss the Ring

23. Mathematics of the Dead

22. The Good Fight Goes Bad

21. Two Peninsulas

20. Museum of Mistakes

19. The Flute of False Choices

18. The Lucky Ones

17. A Charge You Can Keep (Response to the 2008 SOTU)

16. Here Come The Incidents

15. Black and White and Red All Over

14. I Like You More The Day Before

13. The Business of Disregard

12. How the CIA Stole Xmas

11. When The Dog Who Keeps On Eating Things Throws Up

10. Lectures For The Dying

9. The Only Way Out Is The Exit

8. When The Markets Do Their Thing

7. Banner Year

6. Weeknights At Six

5. The Experts

4. Dana, Dana

3. No Kisses, No Cameras

2. Even When It Ends It Won't Be Over

1. Standing In The Driveway Holding Cardboard In The Rain

Suggested donation: $0.50 per song to $2.00 per song.

Click here to donate!

I must stress: IF YOU CAN'T AFFORD TO DONATE, PLEASE STILL GO AHEAD AND DOWNLOAD. I know you would if you could. When people donate a little more, what they're doing is buying the songs for you, so please download and thank them.

Friday, April 11, 2008

Teflon John

John McCain, whether he’s calling his wife the C-word, mixing up Sunni with Shia, making repeated false claims about Iran, is repeatedly proving to everyone that doesn’t work for CNN or MSNBC that he’s completely batshit insane. Enjoy our song Teflon John for McCain and the MSM that refuses to scrutinize him.

Teflon John

It’s so funny everyone forgot to laugh
At your temper even shorter than the shelf life of a gaffe
From your lips to no one’s ears, somehow disappears into the past
If it came from my side no one would ignore
That stupid joke about Barbara Ann, or when you called that wife of yours--
a country needs a whole lot better
than the mixed up words and letters, evermore

Bot the nonsense only echoes for about three seconds long
They’ve got their fingers in their ears, they can’t point out where you’re wrong

Teflon John, is this thing on?
All the microphones are broken
And the lines that you’ve misspoken
Are met with nothing but a token nod-along
They just move on, so move along

I never ever would’ve guessed
That when you ride for half the price on the old Straight Talk Express
You get the Denny’s senior special
And it comes with a free pass from the press
So let’s not put no huffy hotheads where they really don’t belong
I’d so much rather see you feeding ducks down at the pond

Teflon John, is this thing on?
All the microphones are broken
And the lines that you’ve misspoken
Are met with nothing but a token nod-along
They just move on
Oh Teflon John, where have they gone?
Let that sucking up begin
All your friends will let you in and that microscope will never focus on
How you’ve got it wrong
So move along, Teflon John

Monday, April 7, 2008

A song for Gen. Petraeus

Gen. Petraeus will be answering questions on Capitol Hill this week, and since it’s the congress and not the press doing the asking, there might even some hard ones.

My personal recommendation would be to ask about the toll that repeated deployments are taking on our troops. If you can stomach it, read about soldiers coming home after spending 19 of 21 months in combat and not being able to pick their children out of the welcome home line, and other happy tales in the sad-but-true reports that Veterans For America released last week about repeated deployments - a cycle that won’t get any better without further troop reductions.

Anyways, less talk, more rock. Enjoy our song for the Petraeus’ hearings.

(click the play button below)

Q & A

In the year and change since the upswing
With circumstances largely in the dark
The questioners are lining up with the clipboards
I’m sure you’ll hit their softballs out of the park

So get some magic markers and draw a happy face
And cross out all your notes from the past few days
The counter hits 4,000 and it counts and counts away
If they had a chance to ask, what would they say?
In Q & A

You’ll recommend against reductions
I’m afraid it’s more than they can stand
Someone get a page to bring you water
To wash that blood off of your master’s hands

A confident demeanor and the medals on your coat
Give googly eyes to the fourth estate
If someone happens to ask you if it’s worth the price we’ve paid
When you answer think of those who’ve gone away
In Q & A

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

No more War Pigs...

We wish this song, written 40 years ago, didn't still hold true. Let's not let these fucking War Pigs stay in power 4 more years, k?

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Rock Against Telecom Immunity!

A song for the telecom companies that broke the law and complied with the administration's domestic spying program to play while they put you on hold. Enjoy "Free Evenings and Weekends".

Free Evenings and Weekends

Call me on the telephone, I've got time on my plan
I know that no one's listening, but I know that they can
A little bit of oversight for transparency's sake
It takes a special criminal
To break a law that there is no reason to break

Evenings and weekends are free
For them to listen in on you and me
And I can't possibly see
How you and I could ever be
If we go back in time
To when a telephone call it cost just a dime
And a crime was a crime
And we demanded a better excuse than "It's different this time."

Carry an agenda in on the backs of the dead
We tried to throw the book at them, they keep moving their heads
In spite of this duplicity I write them a check every month
And in light of their complicity
It's time that we charged them for once

Evenings and weekends are free
For them to listen in on you and me
And I can't possibly see
How you and I could ever be
If we go back in time
To when the opposition had something that looked like a spine
And a crime was a crime
And we demanded a better excuse than "It's different this time."

Friday, March 21, 2008

Richardson's endorsement of Obama (and less importantly, my own.)

As some of you know, I was the director of social networking programs for Bill Richardson for President and that Gov. Richardson was my choice to best lead the country among a field of very qualified candidates, despite the fact that his candidacy didn't have a snowball's chance in hell. Nonetheless we owe fact that all the major candidates has vowed to end the war quickly to Richardson, who forced the issue for everyone and pressed HRC and Obama to take firmer stances.

Late last night I got Richardson's email to his supporters endorsing Barack Obama for president and this morning watched his endorsement (I'm a big fan of the beard):

I voted for Obama in the California and favored him slightly over Clinton, but after his speech on race this week, I, like Governor Richardson, realized that he is a once-in-a-lifetime leader and is this country's best hope to repair the horrible wound that this administration has opened and salted for the past seven-and-a-half years.

For some time, a large part of me nodded with resigned agreement at Clinton's accusations that Obama did not grasp or appreciate the complexity of certain issues sufficiently enough to be an effective president. His speech on race (Go to http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8flxGDg6Nho to watch, that's part 1 of 5) proved him to be capable of understanding and presenting our most complex and nuanced issue with more grace, accuracy and conviction than anyone I can recall, and put to rest any doubts I had about Obama's ability to understand this country and the world. So, to the 10 people that care, I offer my resounding endorsement of Barack Obama for president.

And I'll go out on a limb and say that I like an Obama/Richardson ticket. They just look like a damn good team.

Thursday, March 20, 2008

A song to help find Vicki Iseman (remember her? McCain's maybe-onetime-mistress?)

It has been exactly one month since the New York Times broke the John McCain/Vicki Iseman scandal, and since then the press has gone after Iseman with all the veracity and acumen of a dead hippo. What gives?

Don't get me wrong - I think that if John McCain had an inappropriate relationship with a lobbyist who looks like a Barbie doll that your sister gave a haircut to, it doesn't make him any less qualified to be president than I already think he is. That said. I'd like to win this election, and since any Democrat that is state assembly on up can't look at a woman other than his wife without the press going after her, I'd like to see the same crappy journalism help my team for once.

It certainly isn't happening yet, and Vicki Iseman is either sitting at home thanking Eliot Spitzer and Jeremiah Wright for making this news almost as old as John McCain, or some shadowy people have buried her in the desert. We wrote a song to help find out - enjoy!

Shout-outs to Huffpost blogger Chris Kelly and 80's punk gods Husker Du for obvious inspiration.

Right click this and select "save link as" to download this song in much better fidelity than YouTube offers.

Vicki Where Are You?

A month ago when I first read your name
In a television storm of counterclaims
Certain that you'd surface soon enough
To deflect the accusations, cry out how you've been misjudged
The rumors faded out and that was that
And everyone stopped wondering just where you might be at
Now it's likely that I'll see your face
On a box of milk at breakfast or a ship to outer space

Vicki where are you, did they send you far away
I don't want to argue, I just want to know that you're okay
Vicki where are you on a rocket to the moon
Vicki where are you, I hope you come home soon

Hey, for all I know you just might be
In little plastic bags down at the bottom of the sea
Maybe you fell victim to the hands
Sticking shovel after shovel in the Arizona sand
I'm only kidding, am I not
I wouldn't put it past them, don't expect them to get caught
So keep your story firmly in your throat
1,000 screaming children clench their teeth and hope you don't

Vicki where are you, did they pull you way down south
Are you tied to a chair with duct tape on your mouth
V-V-Vicki where are you, way down in Mexico
Vicki where are you, why'd you have to go

The search and rescue party has gone home
And Timmy, Wolf and Tweety vowed to leave you well alone
I'd offer an advance to write a book
If you make it to the cameras before you lose your looks

Vicki where are you, and just what did you do
Vicki where are you, on the island of Nauru
Vicki where are you, the girl the world forgot
Vicki where are you, You might be all we've got
Vicki where are you?

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Kiss The Ring (a song for John McCain's magically disappearing principles)

We thought John McCain might want something to listen to as he chucks his principles out of the bathroom window of the Straight Talk Express each time he capitulates to some figurehead of the religious right or hires one of the people who slandered him in 2000 to work on his campaign.

Enjoy Kiss the Ring, our song about McCain's dwindling integrity and the clip we cobbled together for it.

Kiss The Ring

There's a space at the table for everyone
From the crackpot fringe to the favorite sons, bring them in
Bow down and kiss the ring
Cozy up to the zealots and disown their quotes
From the hellfire preachers to the talk show hosts bickering
Kiss kiss, kiss the ring

Sign all the checks to the bottom of the deck
if it deals you a hand you can win
And I know it's just as well that a special place in hell
it can wait if they can help you get in
The purple hearts and silver stars that got you where you are
No they won't add up to a thing
'Cause all the guards on patrol in the circles that you roll
Will never ever let you make it anywhere unless you kiss the ring
Kiss the ring

Peeling off the cover of the old fa├žade
If you can't beat them then give them a job, yes it's odd
The very same thugs that did you in
There's a reputation that you might've once deserved
Before the Straight Talk Express hit Dead Man's Curve
Even though I never agreed with you on much of anything

Put the bus in reverse as your principles disperse
And let the big games begin
Say goodbye to your code as you move on down the road
It won't do shit for you from here on in
The purple hearts and silver stars that got you where you are
No they won't add up to a thing
So Senator, it's time, let them kick you down the line
I hope that you don't mind the taste of metal 'cause it's time to kiss the ring
Kiss the wrong

I'm crossing your name off the list of people I respect but still disagree
If you expand your ranks to the likes of them it'll never include the likes of m
Of course I want you to lose, but maybe just maybe with some dignity
But it don't matter much how you do it, as long as you do
It'll be just fine with me

Sign all the checks to the bottom of the deck
if it deals you a hand you can win
And I know it's just as well that a special place in hell
it can wait if they can help you get in
The purple hearts and silver stars that got you where you are
No they won't add up to a thing
'Cause all the guards on patrol in the circles that you roll
Will never ever let you make it anywhere unless you kiss the ring
Kiss the ring

Saturday, March 8, 2008

New song - Mathematics of the Dead

The idea of that last blog is fleshed out in rock song!

This week's song is about the mathematical problem with the war leading up to the election: the fewer casualties we take in the months before the election (and of course I'm all about fewer casualties), then the more likely it is that John "100 Years" McCain gets elected, which means the war lasts longer, which means we take more casualties.

It's like that anti-drug commercial from the early 1990s of the yuppie in his office staring up after doing a line saying "I do coke... so I can work longer... so I can make more... so I can do more coke... so I can work longer... etc."

Enjoy Mathematics of the Dead.

Mathematics of the Dead

Paint a picture by the numbers
Ink the sky in synthetic blue
Strategize statistics much too good to all be true
Keep the count declining
Mushroom clouds have silver linings too
For you, the battlefield and the ballot box are two
Sides of one bad equation
One life saved is two dead later on
In 100 years of John, carry the 1, carry it on

On and on, manipulate the space between the X and Y
Cross out all those T's and put those dots on your I's
A calculation simplified enough to wrap my head
Around the mathematics of the dead

A manufactured downtick
No it isn't too far-fetched to grasp
A tiny children's band-aid on a gaping gangrene gash
Bring out the substitute
Send more boots and pull them back to base
These figures look good on their face
Run them in place, run them in place, just in case

Manipulate the space between the X and the Y
I'm crossing all my fingers with the wool on my eyes
A calculation simplified enough to wrap my head
Around the mathematics of the dead

My oh my, it's very temporary just a matter of time
And I wish that I wasn't skeptical enough to roll my eyes
At statistics ever-tilted by design to stay ahead
Beyond the mathematics of the dead

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

More funny math from CNN

"1 in 8 casualties from Iraq have been taken by residents of Texas and Ohio".

US Population: 303,477,000
Texas Population: 20,851,820
Ohio Population: 11,353,140

This means that 1 in 9.4 people in America live in Texas or Ohio... and while I'm always glad to see the news media actually admitting that the war matters to people who actually can think past their own economic situation, I'm sure that about half the states are taking casualties that are only 17.5% above it's population percentage. Anyways back to work...

Sunday, March 2, 2008

Death Math

1. It makes me sad that the casualty count in Iraq and the likelihood of a Democrat winning the White House are correlated and proportional, and that every day that an American soldier doesn't die in Iraq makes a McCain victory more likely, which means more deaths for a longer period of time and pro-life Supreme Court Justices. I am trying to do the "people-math" in my head to figure out if an increase in violence in Iraq results in X number of deaths of US troops between now and November, resulting in a Democratic victory and hopefully a pullout within a year, meaning that Y fewer troops were killed than would be if John "Let's be in Iraq for 100 years" McCain is elected. What is an acceptable value for X?

2. Ralph Nader, who once was a decent guy I'm told (he spoke at my high school in 1995 and I thought he was a purposed but tone-deaf douchebag who thought there was nothing more to life at all than social action. No culture. Nothing else) is running for President again, reminding me of the fact that his narcissism cost Gore the election which meant war in Iraq, which has meant approximately 86,000 Iraqi civilian deaths and 4,000 Coalition troop deaths. It's hard to get a figure for how many lives were saved by Nader's success in making the cars we drive safer. My guess is that he's about even for life.

Thursday, February 28, 2008

The Good Fight Goes Bad: A Song for the "Good" War in Afghanistan

If the troops in Afghanistan were given the proper resources to actually hunt down the terrorists we are there to get, the war in Iraq would be even less popular. Our song this week is about how the last vestiges of support for the Iraq war are dependent on stalls in the forgotten "good" war. Enjoy.

Click the player below to hear the song

Right click this and select "save link as" to download this song.

The Good Fight Goes Bad

A row of mountain caves on page A34
Just before the classifieds, the older brother of the wars
Plods along towards disarray with distraction unsurpassed
All diverted to the west, overshadowed and understaffed
If this all went up to plan, they'd catch that fish they'd like to fry
The rationale behind that mess out in the desert would quickly die
So they'll run this out on low, 'cause when a product's doing well
And it's flying off the shelves, the competition's hard to sell

To a throng of the fastest forgetters
As the central front moves away from the center
The planes come and go but the dead just get deader
When the good fight goes bad, it makes the bad one look better

In the backs of morning minds, on the footnotes of the page
They all languish in the shadows of the other's failing grade
Because the one that came before is now an afterthought
There's no such thing as a good war, but if there was I've fast forgot
I'm not distrustful all the time but I'm afraid that's where I'm at
The squeaky wheel it gets the grease, not when the other tire's flat
The forgotten 20,000, a battalion undiscussed
Scribbled on a postcard home, "Hey, remember us?"

Out on display for the fastest forgetters
As the central front moves away from the center
A sad paradox that you can quote to the letter
When the good fight goes bad, it makes the bad one look better

In the face of one unparalleled disaster
Modest failure's easy to ignore
It's hard to bring this up in conversation
No one mentions either one anymore
And if a helicopter crashes in the forest, and no one can report
Does it still make a noise? I don't know fore sure

On display for the fastest forgetters
As the central front moves away from the center
The planes come and go but the dead just get deader
When the good fight goes bad, it makes the bad one look better

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Bill and Hillary, Kurt and Courtney

I like Hillary Clinton more than most of my peers and if I thought she had a snowball's chance in hell of beating John McCain I might've voted for her a few Tuesdays back, and I'm grateful that I'm enough of a sucker to let polling data keep me from having to make a difficult decision.

Despite my not voting for her, I spend about forty-five minutes a day on the phone with someone defending her, and a couple weeks ago I realized that I have been having this very same conversation for years, but only recently about Hillary. I've been making the same reluctant argument in favor of Courtney Love since I was about 15, and the opposition has been saying the same thing back, and with good reason - they're kind of the same person.

Hillary and Courtney are both:

-Blamed (inaccurately) for their husband's worst behavior - Hillary for Bill's failed initiatives in his presidency and his infidelity, Courtney for Kurt's drug problem, rift with Dave Grohl, and suicide.

-Two of the most talented people in their field, and probably not quite as talented as their husbands.

-Dogged by allegations that they would be nowhere without their husband's success, which is total nonsense on both counts.

-Robbed of credit for their own strengths/accomplishments - people who say "it'll be fine since Bill will be back in the White House" and "Kurt probably was writing those songs anyway" are saying the same thing about the shadow male player.

-The most controversial woman in politics and the most controversial woman in rock and roll, despite having not created anything particularly controversial. Hole's three albums are absolutely fantastic, but in the age of the riot grrl movement of the 1990s were no more controversial than a universal health care plan similar to ones that plenty of nations had already.

-Hated by many on an irrational and emotional level. There is no cow more sacred to the Democratic party than Bill Clinton's presidency, and no cow more sacred (post-Beatles) in rock and roll than Nirvana, and all of their talents are lost compared to whatever role people imagine them to have played in their husbands' downfalls.

-They both have only-daughters with slightly left of center, but not incredibly silly names that happen to be the names of famous hotels.

Once their husbands' most powerful days were behind them (Kurt shot himself in the head, Bill's second term ended with him shooting himself in the foot over and over again between Monica, the Marc Rich pardon, on and on and on), Hillary and Courtney have continued to hold hands on their own rollercoasters. They surprised surprised their detractors with a strong senate term and 1998's Celebrity Skin, both effective works that will be remembered as great, if close-to-the-vest points in their career that did a lot to prove their talents - if they are not overshadowed by their follow-ups.

Love's next album, her first without Hole titled America's Sweetheart was an overproduced disaster of an album unparalleled by nothing in history, until a month ago when Hillary's campaign caught up with it, and unless the album that Courtney has been working on since then comes out in the next two weeks is the next Sgt. Pepper, I'm inclined to believe that Hillary has a tough road ahead of her.

Having come of age in the 1990s, I possess a jerky nostalgia for the days of grunge and the dot-com boom, and hope that the women of the two most important couples of the decade are not frozen in history in their current frames: Hillary at the tail end of a mess of a campaign and Courtney in a mess of a drug problem and a crappy album. Behind the recent missteps and the remarkably similar emotional hatred that the two of them are party to are good and respectable records that stand up on their own and are worth looking at and listening to. Hillary '08 and that gig where Love got dragged off the stage opening for Jane's Addiction are tough rebounds to make - we'll see.

Friday, February 22, 2008

Download and Donate

Download and Donate:

Brand new! Get the Marginography! All 20 songs and lyric sheet pdf in one big zip file. Suggested donation of $10 but if you want to just take it, then take it. CLICK HERE TO DOWNLOAD "MARGINOGRAPHY".

All the songs are available individually for download! I am offering these for quasi-sale on The Honor System. Here's how it works (my thanks to Juliana Hatfield, NOT Radiohead, for this idea):

You can download, share, whatever you like. I have a little paypal donate button and ask that if you can, please contribute so I can keep doing these songs - I don't have a studio setup so I spend $200/week at an inexpensive studio to do these so every little bit helps! If you can't afford to pay anything, don't worry about it - I just want people to be able to have the songs. If you have more cash than you know what to do with and have gotten a lot out of these songs then please help out. iTunes charges 99 cents a song, I think that 50 cents a download is a good and fair suggestion.


1. Standing In The Driveway Holding Cardboard In The Rain

2. Even When It Ends It Won't Be Over

3. No Kisses, No Cameras

4. Dana, Dana

5. The Experts

6. Weeknights At Six

7. Banner Year

8. When The Markets Do Their Thing

9. The Only Way Out Is The Exit

10. Lectures For The Dying

11. When The Dog Who Keeps On Eating Things Throws Up

12. How the CIA Stole Xmas

13. The Business of Disregard

14. I Like You More The Day Before

15. Black and White and Red All Over

16. Here Come The Incidents

17. The Lucky Ones

18. The Flute of False Choices

19. Museum of Mistakes

20. Two Peninsulas

In many browsers, just clicking the links will open the files in a media player. To download, right-click or control-click the links and select "save link as" or "save target as". Thanks so much! Please donate if you can.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Two Peninsulas - A song about Hillary's Florida/Michigan power grab

(Graphic by Darkblack)

We are back and on schedule! Last week's song went up on Sunday because I was sick and couldn't sing it until Saturday but we are now back on schedule. I am going to try to make Tuesday the new posting day because that way I can start tracking on the weekend and not have to do it after work.

This week's song is about the Hillary Clinton campaign's attempt to get the Michigan and Florida delegates seated at the convention, even though they're not supposed to count.

For those of you just tuning in, here is the rundown. Florida and Michigan kept moving their primaries up and up and were stripped of their delegates. In other words, the Democratic party said "We're punishing you so your primary votes don't count." This is fundamentally screwed up, I'll give you that. However, all the candidates pledged not to campaign there, and Obama didn't even bother to get his name on the ballot in Michigan. All the voters knew that their choice for the Democratic nominee didn't actually count and that their vote was a mere demonstration. Hillary won both (duh) and is now claiming that it should count.

Have you ever played poker with someone for play money and if they beat you they ask you for a hundred bucks? If you have, I'm sorry that you hang out with such scumbags.

And that's just what the Clinton campaign is doing. I have been a huge defender of Hillary throughout the years, but this is indefensible.

With that, we bring you Two Peninsulas. (Get it? Florida is a peninsula and Michigan has the upper peninsula? I'm a geography nerd.) Enjoy - and please sign the petition that begs her not go through with this power grab.

Note: I would like to mention that after last week's song which was a big multi-layered thing with lots of guitars and background vocals, I wanted to strip it down this week. This song has just drums, one bass, one guitar and one vocal (and a crazy ending) in homage to great bands like The Buzzcocks and The Jam who did so much with so little.

Two Peninsulas

Two peninsulas pointing off an island
sticking out like two sore thumbs
One agreement to play within the playbook
throw it out when the game's been won
When I was younger, a saying i remember
"work hard and play by the rules"
And though I've always been one of your defenders
These accusations might all hold true

So let's play cards just for fun and plastic chips
If you bust me will you try to get my money in your grips
And I'd really hate to think that this was the plan all along
and I know you know it's wrong
Two peninsulas we're cut right off the island
don't you try to sew them on

Start the efforts to certify the phantoms
Under the guise of counting everyone
Any victory without a competition
Counts for less than Barry Bonds' home runs
And to you, i know it's surely not a problem
To have an asterisk next to your name
And though you've been the victim of some dirty tricksters
It's no excuse to be one just the same

So let's play ball in an exhibition match
If I rout you can I try to get it added to my stats
Drive a rusty stake into questionable ground
Looking for a workaround
Two peninsulas were cut from the equation
don't you try to make them count

'Cause we've grown, old and tired
Of the willful disregard for the rules
So it's high time I object
To ambition left unchecked
You've got so much more than my respect to lose

Saturday, February 16, 2008

Museum of Mistakes

I will expand on this blog tomorrow most likely but I want to write something since the song is up. This is a song about how as more evidence gets out about how many prisoners at Guantanamo were just turned in by tribal mercenaries capitalizing on the U.S. tax dollars being thrown at them to turn in people we could say were the "worst of the worst", the pressure to close Guantanamo will mount and it will one day become a museum where we all stare and whisper about how we did such a thing.

Also, just want to say that this is my favorite Max and the Marginalized song yet and features great performances by Jon and Dave. Give it up for them =)


Museum of Mistakes

Somewhere down the line when the fevers quiet down
When I'm twice as old, as old as I am now
We'll step out off the dock and sail the guilty seas
A hundred miles south of the comfort of the keys
Plexiglass displays of the dead, reenactments of the scene
Of hoods devoid of heads and jumpsuits tangerine

And the means, as of my understand were never really up for debate
Cast aside, as we shook all our decency off for security's sake
And besides, once you get started it's a real tough habit to break
Heads will drop and voices will shake
at the Museum of Mistakes

We'll walk from cell to cell, shieded from the sun
Like the tour Alcatraz, with shame instead of fun
Perhaps a list of names will be etched into a wall
Of those who got caught up in the mercenary's call

And it's fine to play out all hands the same no matter how high the stakes
It's a grind to mount a defense in the face of these charges opaque
In a shrine filled with buckets of water and hours left standing awake
There's only so much amends you can make
In the Museum of Mistakes

There's a line between credible threats and just being in the wrong time and place
And in time these roped off exhibits will elicit our collective distaste
And remind that once you get started it's a real tough habit to break
Heads will drop and voices will shake
at the Museum of Mistakes

All the songs we've done so far

So I just started doing the blog over here as opposed to just on MySpace because I'm trying to gradually move this band out of Murdochland, and I'm also aware that people who aren't teenagers aren't that into MySpace. Thus, I'm putting all of our songs here as well. This player has all the songs that were from before this week. This band was born 20 weeks ago and we've made a song a week since then (one of them is just a Youtube song response to the State of the Union - the rest are all full band.)

We've tried to capture something that was happening that week or at least around that time in each song - for all the lyrics and explanations behind each song click here for the big PDF.

Here are the songs (for "The Flute of False Choices", see the blog below.) All new songs will have their own posts. There are 17 songs in this player, if you put the mouse over it others magically appear.

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There are download links at www.myspace.com/maxandthemarginalized.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

The Justice Project

I'm going to be doing some MySpace/Facebook ops for The Justice Project starting this week. They are a fine organization that does things like address the problem of wrongful conviction of people on and off death row, make sure veterans receive the care they deserve when they get home, and to ensure fairness and accuracy in our criminal justice system. Please have a look at their page and support them.

Working on a song about Gitmo...

Today we started "Museum of Mistakes". This will be the best Max and the Marginalized song, I guarantee it.

Monday, February 11, 2008

The Flute of False Choices: A Song for the Democratic Primaries

Cross-posted at Huffington Post

This is a song I wrote about how after inking my ballot for Obama on Tuesday, I wasn't filled with a Lisa Simpson-esque sense of civic pride, but a Lisa Simpson-esque sense of annoyed cynicism, for he really is the less progressive candidate of the two, and if you don't realize that you haven't looked at the health care plans. I held my nose and voted for him because I think that he can beat McCain, and if not for that I wouldn't have, and it's too bad that a vague and empty movement around change, something that both candidates will bring plenty of, has trumped his less progressive policies.

My friend Elijah, a 43-year old professional banjo player who is covered in tattoos and was raised by two lesbain doctors, puts it best (he's a Clinton supporter): "I'm a professional banjo player who was raised by two lesbain doctors. I'm not part of the status quo, I'm just not. And when he says in New Hampshire that the status quo doesn't back down easily and lumps me in with that, it's ridiculous and condescending." He's totally right.

Equally repellent is the Clintons' attempt to characterize those who believe in what the power of a newer face can do domestically and internationally as some kind of fairy tale and if only we knew better.

Thank heavens Edwards forced all their hands on real policy positions or else we'd be voting on symbolism alone. Enjoy the song.

If you are reading this on Facebook or in an RSS Reader, the player will not show up. Go to http://www.theactualsounds.com/marginalized/official/The%20Flute%20of%20False%20Choices.mp3 to open the song.

The Flute of False Choices

They got in the mailbox
They called me at home and knocked on my door
Tuesday came by
and went like all the boring others before
It didn't feel like a choice much at all
Between a future I can't forsee and I past I don't quite recall

Not at all, my hands are tied
Between the weak and the bold or the new and the old or
the darkness and the light
The flute of false choices is playing our song tonight

I went to the highway
Where fitted sheets hung down toward my car
I took out my contacts
To accentuate the differences better perceived from afar
And having some faith it don't make me a fool
And just because I've got an eye on the numbers
That don't mean I subscribe to a dead set of rules, yes it's true

My hands are tied
After seven long years of shoving shit down our ears
about our safety and our rights
The flute of false choices is playing our song tonight

They're shouting from the hilltops calling out all megaphones
Shooting at the blank spots and hitting each one head on
'Cause when that train rolled to town, somehow I missed it
I'm on that list but I'm not enlisted
Maybe I should just stay home

'Cause in spite of what's implied
It doesn't come down to a head in the ground or a finger in the sky
Right in between my old age and my teens I'd like to make up my mind
Free from snot attitudes and these vague platitudes
To a tune trite and contrived
The flute of false choices is playing our song tonight