The Martyr Index

Jenny From le bloc - Lead Vocals Marek Vermin - Lead Vocals + Guitar + Harmonica Jimmy James - Guitar Ian “The Baker” Maki - Bass + Vocals Casey Lewis - Contraptions + Percussion + Vocals + Keyboards All Songs Creative Commons 2008 The Martyr Index except “Security” Creative Commons 2008 The Martyr Index and Spencer Jo Burgess Produced by Casey Lewis and the Martyr Index Recorded, Mixed and Mastered at Echo Base Studio by Casey Lewis Guests: Violins by Philip Sebastian Cimolai “Sermon on the Rock” on The Baghdad Shuffle by Reverend Motown Philly Introduction Guitar Lead on It’s Called Rock n Roll by Jackson Phibes Bellowing Vocals on Divide et Imperia by Jeff Iversen TMI Chorus: Bel Biv D’Beau, Gayrot Hamtrix, Sha-Pam! Hyde, Lindsay May Read, Basket Weevers, Carl, K-Hova Battlesnake, Garfield Thelonious Remington III, Teddy Famous, Stewart Sharples, Chester ‘Chet’ Wirthmoore, Shart Beeswax, J-KO, Caitlin Jane Parsons, James Bell, Cynthia “Cynful” Synenko, “photog”, Marcus Levar Lake, Iain Law, and Robert David “straight edge al” Alexander Whitford All artwork Creative Commons 2008 The Martyr Index Photography: Kyle Weevers Lighting: Matt Eakin Modeling: Kelsey Andries Make-up: Jaimie Hackston Art Direction: Marek Vermin Album Design, Photo Manipulation and Layout: Marek Vermin

Feedback from the satellites, it’s all just a cycling hummmm. Loops of palatable plastic waste: chewing digital bubblegum. Don’t stop running when you hear it coming, We’ve gotta keep us on the move. The steel wheel’s turning as the flags are burnin’ And we’ve got nothing to prove - Nothing to prove! We are doing fine. Down here rockin’ all the time. With a word and a beat and 600 watts a strumming, From the underground you can hear the train a comin’, yeah! A manifesto issued forth today from the disautomatik brigade. It said “Gone are the days of the streets of romance And the safe, safe, censored airwaves. We kick our radios off the bridge tonight, We steal our music back from the sky We mash-up, trash-up, love like we love, ‘cause we’re taking our own piece of the pie! And there ain’t no “why?” We are doing fine! Down here rockin’ all the time. With a word and a beat and 600 watts a strumming, From the underground you can hear the train a comin’ miles away! We are doing fine! Down here rockin’ all the time. With a word and a beat and 600 watts strumming, From the underground you can hear the train a comin’ miles away! We are doing fine Roots radicals rockin’ all of the time With a word and a beat and 20 strings strumming, In the underground you can always hear it coming! Yeah! We’re doing fine! And we don’t mind! We’ll be just fine! When the industry dies! Let it die!

Words and Music by Marek Vermin

“What is called the music business today... is not the business of producing music. At some point it became the business of selling CDs in plastic cases, and that business will soon be over.” - David Byrne

wASPS To honey
It takes a certain kind of measure, Transforming genius into gold. Like an orgasmic venal pleasure That only leaves you cold. Sweet, decadent sensation Exists for nothing but itself A suicidal situation - Profit over all else Can you hear the swarm a comin’? Sleek suits, red ties, Fortune clinging like the truth to lies. Like wasps to honey, That swarm don’t care ‘bout who made their money. Bright whites, glib eyes - What’s it take to forget those lies? Like wasps to honey Swarm after swarm, and they just keep coming It’s just an automatic gesture When you train it from birth. Reach in to apply pressure And squeeze for all it’s worth. Can you hear the hive a buzzin’? Sleek suits, red ties - Fortune clinging like the truth to lies. Like wasps to honey, That swarm don’t care ‘bout who made their money. Bright whites, glib eyes - What’s it take to forget those lies? Like wasps to honey Swarm after swarm, and they just keep on coming, yeah!
Words and Music by Marek Vermin

“Some of the most infamous human rights violations of this era, which have tended to be viewed as sadistic acts carried out by anti-democratic regimes, were in fact either committed with the intent of terrorising the public or actively harnessed to prepare the ground for radical free-market ‘reforms’.” - Naomi Klein (The Shock Doctrine) “...under capitalism, we can’t have democracy by definition. Capitalism is a system in which the central institutions of society are in principle under autocratic control. Thus, a corporation or an industry is, if we were to think of it in political terms, fascist; that is, it has tight control at the top and strict obedience has to be established at every level - there’s little bargaining, a little give and take, but the line of authority is perfectly straightforward. Just as I’m opposed to political fascism, I’m opposed to economic fascism. I think that until the major institutions of society are under the popular control of participants and communities, it’s pointless to talk about democracy.” - Noam Chomsky “Capitalism has destroyed our belief in any effective power but that of self-interest backed by force...” - George Bernard Shaw

iTs caLleD RocK n roll
1954 Bill Haley and His Comets Came to rock us around the clock. The kids went crazy and jumped out of their seats And that Bo Diddley boogie Got ‘em bopping to the beat. With the moondog wailin’ over the airwaves A revolution was sounded That could never be grounded. “Roll Over Beethoven” was the anthem of the kids on the street! The call of young rebels rang out across the globe From London to Berlin, Sydney to Tokyo, Stockholm, Beirut, Rio de Janeiro. The kids of the world flew the flag of rock and roll. One generation united, passions ignited, They couldn’t get no… hey, hey, hey! “Kick out the Jams” Was the message from the kids on the street! It’s called Rock n Roll We want the truth, we want the real Cause we’ve got soul and we’ve got feel. We’re the kids who won’t be told, who won’t be controlled, Undermined, bought out, packaged and sold... We’re still fucking in the back seats, jumpin’ to the up-beats, Bringin’ the riots down to the city streets, And our insurgency is something They can’t control - It’s called Rock n Roll
Words and Music by Marek Vermin
out of the accountants and lawyers who knew nothing about music, but controlled the world’s recording industries. In the 1960s rock re-emerged, along with new rock-influenced forms of funk and jazz, as a driving force behind the various protest and revolutionary movements throughout the world, shaking the world order from its very roots and spawning hundreds of sub-genres, including heavy metal, hip-hop and punk rock; and eventually all of their sub-genres too. Independently created and produced music spread throughout the world, carrying the spirit of rock n roll to the masses of youth who, to this day, engage in multifarious forms of artful rebellion and continue to use rock music to inspire themselves to action! ¡viva rock n roll!

In 1950s America, all of the narrow minds and the misanthropic cultural, political and economic tyrants holding segregation in place couldn’t stop the advance of a youth culture that insisted the kids should be united. The cultural power of rock n roll, a music that combined the traditions of country and blues and gospel, took the world by force. Skeptics claimed it could never last and conservatives said that it was a deviation from the natural order, but rock n roll endured, a truly powerful art form associated from its inception with rebellion and multicultural cross-pollination. It spread rapidly across the globe, mingling with indigenous sounds wherever it went, proving its cultural power to adapt while still maintaining its exuberance and the essence of youth rebellion. Every time rock n roll became stagnant, overly institutionalized and sanitized, a new generation would come along and kick it a new asshole, reclaiming it for themselves and taking the piss

oso blanco
There ain’t a single story That comes from out of nowhere. Every tale’s got its roots in a moment of truth Deep in the core of the legends we bear. Well, Robin Hood must have stood for more Than just rob from the rich and give to the poor: An idea, a hope, the will to fight, And the courage to give everything for something right. Let the people sing… It’s a long way to Nottingham Shire Or Chiapas, Mexico, But you can’t tell me that Robin Hood ain’t real Since the feds caught up with Oso Blanco! The cynics might bury their hope And treat their fear with cocaine. But sure as terror still chills in New Mexico’s heat, You know it gives the streets their name. Well he ain’t no Hollywood God now, Up on the silver screen, smooth and debonair. The real deal looks, talks and fights like the streets A hard-living red man with black, black hair. So let the people sing… It’s a long way to Nottingham Shire Or Chiapas, Mexico, But you can’t tell me that Robin Hood ain’t real, Since the feds caught up with Oso Blanco! It’s a long way to Nottingham Shire Or Chiapas, Mexico, But you can’t tell me that Robin Hood ain’t real, Since the feds caught up with Oso Blanco!
Words and Music by Marek Vermin

“I am still able to hold my head up and feel the gratification for my work in a world where money, power, and destructive industry are regarded far above humanity, indigenous, and impoverished peoples and cultures. I cannot help that I got into my work.” - Oso Blanco Byron Shane Chubbuck, also known as Oso Blanco, is a wolf clan Cherokee/Choctaw raised in New Mexico. Throughout 1998 and 1999 he robbed a number of banks and used the proceeds to send assistance to the Zapatista Rebels in Chiapas, Mexico. After the FBI learned that he was giving the money away to aid the poor and the dispossessed they dubbed him “Robin the Hood”. Following his arrest Oso Blanco was sentenced to 80 years in a federal prison and he is currently serving that sentence in the US.

Kneeling on the ground, Blindfolded, gagged and bound. Can’t hear a fucking sound, But I feel them all around. They’re watching me …they’re haunting me. I feel my mind is gonna split And they don’t give a shit Watching me… What do they want from me? The nights of terror never cease. I pray and pray for my release Hostage! I’m a hostage! Panoptic from inside. There is no place to hide. Don’t need a jail or cell Inside my private hell: I’m watching me …I’m haunting me. I can’t move to get away, I’m always lying there in wait Watching me… Why are they taunting me? Eyes burn through behind my skull. The truth seems inconceivable Hostage! I’m a hostage! Hostage! I’m a hostage! Flesh unfit for meat markets, Hammered well beyond senseless. For what? For what, indeed? Battered souls and bullet holes, The Dow is up now as they close. Whoah, and that’s the status quo! Hostage! Just look at what we’ve done today We’ve been too long turning away… Hostage! I’m a hostage! Hostage! I’m a hostage! Hostage! You’re a hostage! Hostage! Everyone a hostage! Hostage! No more: hostage!

Words and Music by Marek Vermin

‘Discipline’ may be identified neither with an institution nor with an apparatus; it is a type of power, a modality for its exercise, comprising a whole set of instruments, techniques, procedures, levels of application, targets; it is a ‘physics’ or an ‘anatomy’ of power, a technology. - Michel Foucault (Discipline and Punish: The Birth of the Prison)

Power does not simply reside in an act of force from one body on another. Power is also regulated by acts of will upon other wills. When humans engage in relationships of power with each other it isn’t the same as smashing a rock with a hammer. That’s an act of force, which is a type of power, but it’s not intersubjective power. Power relations between two subjects happen in the space where their wills meet and where societal discourses regulate assumptions. Thus, social power is dispersed in the form of discourse and knowledge. But that isn’t to say that violence isn’t a major component of the relations of power. Certainly the expectation of violence produces some of the most profound understandings we have. However, even though violence is a form of communication that establishes a relationship of wills, the power of violence should be distinguished from the power relation that is reinforced through its use. The ultimate recourse of violence is in death, but through death the relation of power is dissolved. There is nothing left to speak of. The king wields no social power if he has no subjects. So, in order to counter the patterns of power that we wish to disengage, we need to start to unravel their discourses and establish new positions from which to speak. We need to recognize the places in which our acquiescence not only reinforces unwanted power, but creates it and redistributes it. We need to create counter-power discourses to those that allow for the dispensing of torturous socio-economic regimes. If “shock and awe”, Guantanamo and Abu Ghraib are not to represent the secret desires of our societies, we need to unmake the framework that allowed these atrocities to speak for us. It is too simple to dismiss them as a product of intelligence agencies in the US, because it comes from elsewhere more pervasive than just the annals of the CIA’s Kubark manual. These discourses are embedded deep in our notions of legitimate authority, terror, fear, and discipline.

calgAry Libre
In my home town, there’s governmental dynasties And cinematic sunsets over the refineries. Dirty boots on the avenue looking for work today, Hoping to find a reason to stay… hey, hey! In my home town, there’s gentrifying BRZs, Imagining and marketing special kinds of enemies. Atomic citizens looking for a world outside their door And some forgot what they’re living for… It’s more than oil dollars and concrete walls. It’s more than farmers’ markets and community halls. It’s more than just social inequity. These streets and fields we’ve made our homes. They’re marked with blood and broken bones. We live between sewage and dreams, Hope and lies and love and economy - This is Calgary Calgary Calgary Calgary Calgary libre! libre! libre! libre! This This This This is is is is our our our our home! home! home! home!
Calgary Libre! is the name of a local soccer team that Mark Vermin co-founded and has played on for a number of years. The team is what could be called a microcosmos of Calgary’s diverse communities. Not only is Soccer a reflection of the animalistic pleasure and pain of life, but it is also an escape. When the struggles we engage in seem to become hopeless, we need these havens of freedom to play and forge meaningful friendships. And if we step back for a moment, we realize also all the good we’ve done along the way and all the potential that we have. The land beneath your feet is the heart of the game and it is on this soil that we attempt to move forward, to forge history and make the world a better place. Historically Calgary has been a tragically conservative city, often associated with a backwards mentality. Indeed, Alberta’s oil wealth has made the cities of this province very wealthy, and with that wealth has come a decadent culture of waste and isolation. It has also drawn people to this part of the country at an alarming rate, causing an unprecedented population boom. However, the influx of cultures has opened Calgary up and has brought ideas that can challenge the longheld reactionary socio-political world view of this redneck wonderland. Calgary is not just a city of faux-cowboys and oil barons. It is also a locale for free thinkers, radicals, artists and freaks. This is our home. Viva Calgary Libre!

Words by Marek Vermin Music by Jimmy James and Marek Vermin

life And debT
From exalted to human with the stroke of a pen Doesn’t seem to mean much these days. ‘Cause when push comes to shove, that bomb drops from above And the children put the city ablaze. Just ‘cause the monkeys in suits won’t tally me banana Doesn’t mean them bellies don’t really ache. A noose ‘round the neck ain’t a cash-able cheque, But that’s the only deal the IMF makes. How far that branch gives before it breaks? Who can you turn to? Desperate times force the desperate hand, yeah. Who can you turn to when the money man’s got the key? Who can you turn to? Desperate times ‘cross this desperate land, yeah. Who can you turn to?
Jamaica is a case study in the brutality of unfettered capitalism. While western tourists play in the country’s paradisiacal beaches, smothered in opulence, the people of Jamaica struggle to survive in a continuous downward spiral of poverty. Incapable of competing with the imports like subsidized powdered milk flowing in from the US and with companies like Chiquita and Dole, whose bananas are often grown under slave-like conditions, Jamaica’s economy has been eviscerated. The IMF and the World Bank have

White dollars, they come to play in the sun: Margaritas in the tropical heat. But that money won’t find you black peace of mind, Only bullets in the city streets. ‘Cause when you can’t buy the seed and the land yields weeds, You sit around always waiting. Yeah, waiting for the time when you need to rise And put an end to all of this debating; All of this fussing and a fighting. Who can you turn to? Desperate times force the desperate hand, yeah. Who can you turn to when the IMF lock the door? Who can you turn to? Desperate times ‘cross this desperate land, yeah. Who can you turn to? Sing loud ‘til the world can’t ignore anymore.
Words and Music by Marek Vermin
raped almost every economy in the third world with their structural adjustment programs, ensuring that the rich and powerful move with unlimited access, while the poor suffer and starve, immobile. The freedom of capital has replaced the dream of freedom for the people. This song was inspired by Stephanie Black’s film “Life and Debt”. For more information go to

The BaghdAd shuffle
Long-tailed Scorpion baking in the heat. Desert Sands shifting to the beat of the feet, yeah. From the Midwest to the Middle East, barrels on their plates, ready for the feast. Black blood of the Earth boils ‘neath the sands, so they send their young to die and kill in far-off lands. Let’s burn the Oceans, let’s burn the Seas. Let’s burn our future in our SUVs. Kill and maim in convenience’s name until every drop is found. Do the Baghdad Shuffle ‘til we hit the ground. G-7 cannibals around the fire. ...iko, iko, with a 3rd world picnic for the funeral pyre, yeah. There’s a thorn in their side and glint in their eye. Cut the moustache off and the beast will die. The UN’s not invited when they twist and hop, the oil down the desert way gotta shake it to the top. Drown us in deception, drown us in disease. Keep us fearing phantom killers and WMDs. Keep us filling our tanks with blood until every gallon’s burned. Do the Baghdad Shuffle ‘til the world has turned. Empires crumble and empires fall. What does an empire do with it’s back to the wall? Rome or Texas, it’s the same old lies, the figurehead postures while Democracy dies, the Moneymen rape, dollars in their eyes, until the corpses of the innocent are drawing flies. Let’s burn the Oceans, let’s burn the Seas.
Words and Music by Casey Lewis

“The United States wants to implement a grand plan to control the sources of Iraqi oil... They want to preoccupy the people with the security issue to implement this plan...” - Shaykh Hasan al-Zarqani, the Al-Sadr Movement in Iraq “Of course it’s about oil, we can’t really deny that.” - General John Philip Abizaid (U.S. Central Command)

She’s looking down from a ladder she’s been climbing for years, Through youth and love and heartbreak, through blood and sweat and tears. She’s got a great big house and she’s popular in bars, Got a kid in med school and she drives expensive cars. She’s been falling up that ladder since God knows fucking when And the ulcer in her stomach is acting up again She could tell you the price of everything she owns And what she tips the college boys who come when she’s alone And she wonders and I wonder What went wrong? Integrity turned tragedy Screaming for security. She counted out her pennies and tossed them in a box. Dropped the box in the ocean, drank her face off at the docks. Kicked around the harbour all night long. Looking out on how to get back to the place where she belongs She’s got her eyes on the stars and she’s screaming on her knees. Asking someone something, asking anyone please. She’s got a bottle in her left hand and a pistol in her right, But whomever it is she’s asking can’t help Can’t help her tonight
Words by Spencer Jo Music by Marek Vermin

We are born into a world where progressive alienation is a false marker of success. We struggle to the point of almost killing ourselves so that we can be free of one of the very things that makes us human - our need for each other. Fetishes are used as stand-ins for human interactions and in a consumerist society we drive ourselves to madness collecting objects to replace every lost interaction, every missing love. When we achieve our every desire, we keep reaching out, insatiably looking for more. We obsess over that last missing thing and unless we realize that what we were looking for is something that doesn’t exist, we can never be satisfied. There will always be that yearning for the impossible - security.

a garden for Every fisT
Raise your fist in the air, Stick your trowel in the ground. Get up, get down, shake it all around. Get your get on to the rock n roll sound. Shooting up like grass through the sidewalk, Eco-systems in the city streets. We’re working our way through the gaps in the concrete, Busting open right beneath our feet. Oh! Can you see it? The living city right before your eyes. Oh! Can you hear it? Letting us know she’s only in a new guise. There’s no revolution Until we touch the ground, reaching down to plant the seeds. We’re tilling the soil... A garden for every fist! Raise your fist in the air, Stick your trowel in the ground. Get up, get down, start it right now. Gotta get a move-on on the under ground. We’ve got a thousand rooftops here Situated for a little salvation And a million forgotten spaces Calling out for some imagination. Oh! Can you feel it? The naked city beneath the soles of your feet. Oh! Can you believe it? A metroparadise awaits at the end of the street. There’s no revolution Until we touch the ground, reaching down to plant the seeds. We’re tilling the soil... A garden for every fist! Above the underground, That’s where you see us now. And this is our sound… I’m singin’ all my people c’mon an’ get down! Oh! Can you see it? It rises up amidst the foliage. Oh! Can you believe it? We’re working our way into a new age There’s no revolution Until we touch the ground, reaching down to plant the seeds. There’s no revolution Without soiled hands. We’re tilling the soil... A garden for every fist!
Words and Music by Marek Vermin

“Humanity has passed through a long history of one-sidedness and of a social condition that has always contained the potential of destruction, despite its creative achievements in technology. The great project of our time must be to open the other eye: to see all-sidedly and wholly, to heal and transcend the cleavage between humanity and nature that came with early wisdom.” - Murray Bookchin (The Ecology of Freedom)

Divide et imperia is a Roman term for the theory of divide and rule. The basic tenet is that in order for an Empire to extend control effectively into a territory with a historically strong cultural identity, it is necessary to encourage potential internal divisions. The effectiveness of this strategy lies at the core of a very simple principle: if the people would resist us because we are the imperialists they detest, we must foster sectarianism so that they fight each other. This is precisely what has happened in Iraq today. The resistance movement against American imperialism in Iraq has been effectively countered by the splintering of the country into hundreds of primary allegiances and the evisceration of a long-held Iraqi national identity. It has allowed the US to force freemarket fundamentalism down the throats of Iraqis and has resulted in one of the biggest economic rip-offs of this century, with no end in sight for an American withdrawal. This song was initially written as a metaphor for the role of Ahmed Chalabi, the notorious wanna-be president of Iraq, who was so despised by Iraqis that the US had to find another patsy to head the interim Iraqi Governing Council: the CIA asset Iyad Allawi. However, the US has repeatedly utilized numerous Iraqi figureheads, continuously offering support to a range of competing interests, embroiling many in divisive patterns of abuse. Further, in 2004 when John Negroponte, the king of the death squads in Honduras, Nicaragua, and El Salvador, was appointed ambassador to Iraq, the use of death squads by American-backed Iraqi leaders, including government ministries, became prolific. As a result, these rulers are greatly loathed by many Iraqis and can’t even leave the Green Zone for fear of their lives. This song is really about all of these stooges who think that the Empire will protect them forever.

divide eT iMPeria
Master! Save me! Remember me, your little Judas in training… Caesar! Don’t betray me! I need your strength, my people all hate me! I had your word, we had a deal! My allegiance and title for your steel! I would be lord, I would be king, But the lion is turning and bears his teeth at me! I should have known and understood Caesar’s word is never good. A carnivore’s a carnivore and we know what he came here for. Avarice and lust! Eyes grow wide! Obscured shadows at your side! Wounded, beaten, Caesar’s land: Divide et imperia! I seized… opportunity. Caesar’s icy hand reached out to greet me. His words… so sweet. My enemies would grovel at my feet, But now you do not heed me, you do not fear me And Caesar’s deaf ears no longer hear me Another chief upon my throne, I beg for mercy in my own home! I should have known and understood Caesar’s word is never good. A carnivore’s a carnivore and we know what he came here for. Avarice and lust! Eyes grow wide! Obscured shadows at your side! Wounded, beaten, Caesar’s land: Divide et imperia! Master! Save me! Remember me your little Judas in training… Master! Save me! I need your strength, my people hate me! I should have known and understood Caesar’s word is never good. A carnivore’s a carnivore and we know what he came here for. Avarice and lust! Eyes grow wide! Obscured shadows at your side! Wounded, beaten, Caesar’s land: Divide et imperia! Violence and strength like I’ve never seen, Legions of faithful and war machines Raining fire from Heaven, cities of dead, Demons eating crude like it was bread!
Words and Music by Marek Vermin

haciendA luisiTa
When you assumed your jurisdiction The whole world came knocking on our heads. We’ve seen this before, on the bridge at Mendiola: To the lords up on high, poor’s the same as dead. Looking out from blood-bathed eyes At his body swinging from the gate, I thought where’s our law, our soldiers, our justice? I’m only left with my conscience and my hate And the vile choice to die hungry or die fighting! Hacienda Luisita, all I’ve ever known Hacienda Luisita, this hell that I call home. Though clutched like gold by Solomon, I know, I know this land is ours in common and we shall be free You tore our roots from the soil And we had nowhere left to go. We only wanted what you promised Well over 40 years ago. We didn’t need another reason To stand up and spit in your face. The line was drawn in blood by you And we were imprisoned for life in your imperial grace With the vile choice to die hungry or die fighting! Hacienda Luisita, all I’ve ever known Hacienda Luisita, this hell that I call home. But like the wind in the sugarcane, I know, I know we are one with this land and we shall be free Hacienda Luisita, all I’ve ever known Hacienda Luisita, this hell that I call home! Hacienda Luisita, though pushed beyond your view! Hacienda Luisita, I will return to you!
Words and Music by Marek Vermin

What happens when the land-workers decide that they should hold the land-owners and government to their obligations? The assumption of jurisdiction happens and the army marches in to make sure that nothing really changes in the system. Well, something did change. People who had lost their hope realized that they really did matter. The struggle continues... “They can tear our bodies apart with bullets, but they will never be able to massacre the resolve of a people united.” - ULWU President Rene Galang

Currently the various governments of the world are considering enacting legislation to enforce digital copyright more stringently. Just like in the 80’s when major labels made us weep for the artists who were “losing money” because of home taping, now the industry is crying because digital sharing is causing untold damage to the poor, starving artists who can’t be fairly remunerated for their hard work. Of course, fair remuneration of artists is constantly heralded as a rationale for increasing copyright protections when it is very obvious to any artists involved in the industry that remuneration within the industry is almost non-existent. Yet artists are being duped into thinking that they’ve been hurt by piracy despite the fact that independent artists have never made much money from distribution of sales, partly because channels have largely been closed to us. Most sales, if you control your own recordings, come directly off the stage. You play shows and that’s where the music is. However, piracy has changed the dynamic of distribution. It has levelled the playing field to a certain extent, because people can freely share culture with each other and get a wider sampling of music. Now it is the tastes of fans that fuels distribution of music in addition to the traditional albumto-record-store route that is controlled by a select few in the industry (and the hierarchy within that structure is pretty insane too). Piracy is a democratizing effect within the music industry, because it allows the music to become distributed by fans based on its connection to them. Their musical tastes are no longer dependent upon who has the best access to their regional “market”, but are now predicated upon what they can scour on the internet and what their friends want to share with them. As a musician, the whole point is to be able to reach out to someone and have them feel your music passionately. When that connection is made, then you have produced something meaningful. That carries over and people go see the artist live if they can. If they really care enough, they’ll even pay for an album they’ve already pirated. This relationship serves to better the state of independent music and artists benefit wholly from being heard. The movement for increasing copyright protections is obviously spearheaded by and in the interests of the major publishers and distributors, not the artists that they have no problem ripping off in contracts. Yet the majors cite the “poor artists” whenever this issue comes up. Unless artists are 100% in control of distribution and production of their works, which almost never happens when an artist is considered potentially profitable, then increased digital protections won’t help artists one bit. Further, increased controls will likely benefit major labels to the detriment of artists, who usually don’t have enough money before they sign a contract to pay a lawyer to protect their interests against the record company’s team of accountants, lawyers and other such parasitic agents.

In fact, we believe that increases in digital protections will only serve to hurt smaller artists altogether, unless we find a new measure for copyrighting material that protects us from the industry while still allowing fans to access and distribute it easily. One method is to begin a movement to boycott major labels by artists and fans. Fuck them. Let them die. Who cares if 100 bureaucrats don’t get paid for every album released? The industry is a bloated, top-heavy behemoth that needs to take a serious nose-dive into a pile of its own shit. Another option is for artists to begin to have their music digitally unprotected. Artists can opt to have their music released in DRM-free manners, thus enabling sharing by fans. Finally, support piracy every chance you get. Make sure that anti-artist/anti-fan//procorporate legislation is opposed and even if it goes through, continue to violate it. This is a form of civil disobedience in the cultural arena. We believe that culture shouldn’t be restrained by profit margins. Musical diversity shouldn’t just be for people who can afford to have purchased thousands of records for their collection. Copyright should serve to protect artists from the industry, not the industry from fans! Long live music piracy! The drafting of pro-corporate digital copyright legislation is part of a larger initiative, driven by neo-liberal capitalist ideologues to make the right to unfettered profits the highest universal principle of humanity. All around us we see initiatives to free the movement of capital while restricting the movement of labour and ‘deregulating’ what communal wealth remains in order to sell it at rock-bottom prices to private market interests. However, all around the world people are resisting this assault on public interest in a multitude of ways. From Iraq to the Phillipines, Bolivia to the US, there are millions of people who are fighting and creating spaces for alternative discourses to be heard. This recording is dedicated to all of the people who struggle against social injustices to make a world for all. The Martyr Index would like to thank the following for their invaluable assistance to us in the two years that this record was in the making: Lindsay, H-Bowg, Garrett, Kyle, the triangle, the Kosts, the Bizeks, the department, LCCL, the rest of the band, the lesbo, the drama queen, all of our supporters, and all of the amazing bands, promoters, and technicians we’ve worked with.

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