This blog’s former editor, Max Bernstein, has written, performed, and videoed a great rock protest number called “What Is It We’re Doing There Again?” And by “there” he means Afghanistan.
We asked Max to tell us about how he came to be a political rocker:
I started Max and the Marginalized in October of 2007 with the idea in mind of being a political rock band that sang about issues as they unfolded. We set out to do a song every week about something happening that week for a year, and Arianna Huffington was happy to let us post the songs on the Huffington Post. 2008 was a hell of a political year, and some of the issues we sang about (anyone remember Hillary Clinton’s attempt to make the primaries in MI and FL count, or the Strait of Hormuz incident?) are long forgotten. Others, like “The Business of Disregard” about how the profit motive of the health insurance industry will always be at odds with the goal of providing care, or “Museum of Mistakes” about Guantanamo, have had a surprisingly long topical shelf life. We recently rerecorded 15 of them that were still the most prescient and are releasing them as an album later this year.
Doing weekly songs not designed for an album allowed us a good deal of sonic diversity; the result can mean dub reggae one week, ’88 style hardcore the next and Thin Lizzy esque rollicking pop the next. After a writing hiatus, we’re getting started up again with a weekly, or near weekly pace.