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, 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?