On the stage in a club a lanky-built kid disturbs the chattering at the bar when he flips the gain on a stack of amplifiers. Uncut, uncombed—a head behind the smoke and a cigarette burning. Leather shoulders fall to tight black jeans with boots of suede, all split by an axe no one in the club has ever seen. What started as counter culture kids jam-packed in a garage becomes a veil on a stage in front of thousands. Most of everybody have labeled the music as dark, boring and old. They hear the buzz preceding a face melting riff which will cheese their minds and they cringe when six strings emblazon the stage in a fiery array. “What is that noise?” a girl at the bar says. “Man, we have the worst luck, there’s a band tonight.”

Rock is the dead ringer of the words “rock is dead.” It’s rooted in the reject, the social parasite—that will to rock.

In the club no one sways and no one cheers, they silently observe the crumbling stage crack the floor as the night fades away. The bass line slaps against their ear drums as the twang fills what’s in between. Two sticks pulse the scene in the hands of a wicked man whose only satisfaction grows from banging all day the very instrument his neighbors resent. By now the club has emptied, the flood is outside as the walls structured over an arena of distortion shake and hold the unworthy at bay.

Rock is that mysterious liquid on the dance floor and the dirt in the fingernails of the mad. A rocker’s sway against the groove thrives in the scene of discomfort. Some may say the music’s gone, but it’s hiding away in nodes which only welcome those who find their way away from the crowd at that new nightclub. That dank alleyway near the bank hides a rocker and in the grime on the subway, they watch from afar the muck that music has become.

A guitar blaring in the night bleeds the ears of the innocent unlearned. Who, awaiting the moment the band is done, can have their fragile understanding saved by the drop of the bass amidst the mildly unnerving idea that a DJ is talented. Passion spews a heartfelt message, oozing from the microphone a philosophy that speaks to the outcast. The stage clears.

An empty scene and abandoned instruments drown from the sound spilling out of the speakers and all who left consume the area once again. They soak in the atmosphere and love all around them, absorbing the spillage around broken glass that was shattered only moments ago at the foot of rock. The clubbers dance and laugh away, shading shallow observances with Empty Dance Music.

By now rock has become the smokers outside. It’s the grungy cool kids too off-beat for blending in, the ones who see their night filled with the open acceptance that they are exactly who society wants them not to be. Smiles smearing over the crowd under the smell of cigarettes fall unnoticed. Behind the crowd thumping to a beat, the rock skitters back to its reclusive state and fills the world with dreams built upon the demise in the image that the world has made for it.