Friday, February 27, 2015

And the band played on


When the world ends, the campfire will no longer be Romantic, but survival. People will also have a fire in their fireplace, huddled around it as the wind-chilled air dips below zero outside and sifts through the walls. We will finally know how our ancestors felt long before indoor plumbing and central air/heat were even a glimmer in some inventor's eye.

We gather around fires, for the most part, as a form of entertainment. It is a planned event. We roast marshmallows, hot dogs, cook over the open flame with our cast iron pot because it's rustic. We don't have to, nor do we need to. Along with other forms of survival, there probably won't be much time for entertainment and leisure. Modern living allows for us to take a seat and relax. After the world ends, our down time at night will be spent asleep. 

Let's face it, people. The end of the world is exhausting. 

At the same time, though, we are a working people, and need time to decompress here and there. At some point, our devices that hold our music will die, and there will be few ways to charge them -- unless the hand crank becomes a popular charging option in the near future. The kids out there that say, "Music is my life" and wear only one earbud, while they "listen" to you with the other ear, will go through withdrawal. Headaches will ail them, they'll get the shakes. Teenagers, although already a mess, will become a conglomerate blob of anxiety because they can't listen to their crappy pop music. 

That's why our families or groups or hunting parties or communes, or whatever you want to call them, will need a guitarist. Musicians will be highly respected at the end of the world. People with good voices will be nice to have around, too. We won't get XM radio while we travel from one village to the next. We can't have our headphones in while we hunt and gather. We'll be surrounded by all the natural sounds our modern society has forgotten about. 

Music can't die along with the end of the world. It will be needed. It's time to start learning as many songs as we can, to memorize as many melodies, or we'll have to make up our own by creating our own soundtrack. Our communes could each have it's own song. Eventually, years will pass, communes will become comfortable, and we will travel down to the remains of Nashville, not to record our music, but to present our beloved hymns as we gather for Song of the Commune, a celebration of all the anthems we will have written to detail and describe the group of people we live with. There will be no winners, but someone over there, reading, will mention about a time, long before, when people did a similar thing, but only twice, in the land of New York.

"It was a celebration of music called Woodstock," the reader will say, and then put her head back down and stuff her eyes back in the book. 

Even if writing music isn't your forte, the crappy pop songs may not be so crappy if played with an acoustic guitar, and belted out bluegrass or folk-style. A strong melody is truly memorable when it can be stripped down to it's most basic parts, laid out over the fire, and sung without an ounce of layered production. 

Crappy pop music has a chance to stand the test of time. Until then, I will see you at this year's Song of the Commune.