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.

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

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