Thursday, September 24, 2009

The Battle

Good Afternoon!
Its only been a day and I'm back, making sure this blog writing habit sets in as fast as possible! Today, I'm just going to share with you a piece that I wrote a little while ago. As a little punk kid in high school, people used to take one look at me and say "rock is dead". I never understood how people could say such a thing. Surely rock had changed over the years, but dead? I didn't understand... I was a regular at the rock clubs downtown. The Embassy, Call The Office, Rum Runners, The Salt Lounge... these places were my home away from home. I saw rock in all its glory, reborn time and time again. From the rise new wave hardcore, to the indie explosion, to the top 40s pop rock of today, change is adaptive. Every genre undergoes a transition. To expect something to stay constant and static over the years is to expect it to be dull. Rock, to me, is about being new, being bold, being whatever it wants to be. Personally, I hope rock music continues to change, because that is the only way to ensure it never truly dies.

The Battle
Each weekend, these seemingly silent streets turn to a war zone for the city’s teenaged population. Though it has been said that punk rock is dead, the truth is, it is alive and thriving. You just have to know where to look. As night falls, they step into the darkness to claim the night. Outside, they line the streets behind the overlooked, dilapidated buildings ignored by the general public. Adrenaline coursing through the line, excitement lingers in the smoke filled air. 

Open the heavy paint chipped doors, pay your seven dollar admission fee, and enter a world like nothing you have ever seen. Here, it almost appears to an outsider, that a makeshift militia has been formed. They meet each Friday night, prepared for another drill. The soldiers arrive in brigades of three or four, dressed in a uniform of slim fitting dark band tees held together by pins and patches, low slung studded belts with tight denim jeans and dyed hair teased to an extreme. They proudly flaunt their battle scars in forms of bruises, casts and chipped teeth. Medals are displayed through vibrant art and silver jewelry, decorating the skin. 

They have come ready for battle against an unseen enemy. Their weapons of choice? Pumping fists and violently thrashing bodies. Among the sea of veterans, lie the new recruits anxiously awaiting the mission. The environment is buzzing with anticipation as the musicians take their positions on the frontline. Like drill sergeants, they coax the crowd to a frenzy. The screams of protest dictate their movements as they charge headfirst into the rhythm. Bodies are thrown into each other, passing high above the heads before crashing to the floors. But on this battlefield, no man is left behind. They march for this cause, together. As much as the rules of the mosh may dictate that its ‘every man for themselves’, this unity cannot be broken. It’s a scene of victory alone to watch the pit move as a single being. Fists raised high, voices echoing into the night. The guitars blare melodic chords, merely noise to the virgin ears. Pounding drum and bass lines guide the rhythm of the enthusiastic crowd. In unison, they jump. 

As the night carries onwards and the hours reach early morning, the troops begin to exit the trenches. The battle dies with the last guitar chord that echoes through the night, much like the haunting tune of Reveille called the end. Bodies are scattered across the wooden bars, clutching cold beers and raising them in silent victory. The battle has been won tonight, and as long as these soldiers keep fighting, the war will never end.

Rock On!
-Girl At The Rock Show

Song of the Day: Long Live Rock by The Who
The title on this one says it all.

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