A playlist to navigate Houstonians through the stages of dealing with the Corona virus.
Photo By Gladys Fuentes
It feels like the whole world is coming to an end but let's all remember, it's not really. Well, at least let's hope not. This may be the first time we have experienced a situation quite like this with important events getting canceled left and right and everyone hunkering down but it's important to try to stay calm, clean and never underestimate the power of a good song.
An obvious choice for an end of times playlist is REM's famously upbeat "It's the End of the World." See if you and your loved ones who still stand near you, can remember all the lyrics or stop perfectly in time to scream Leonard Bernstein! REM knows how to keep their sense of humor during tough times, a good lesson for us all right now.
Keeping with the upbeat yet angry vibe is Elvis Costello's "Waiting For The End Of The World", Costello seems to be narrating the feeling that most people have right now as they sit home absorbing what is likely to be too much news.
Jim Carroll's "People Who Died" taps into the fear of most folks, what will happen to those we love if they get as sick as others across the globe have?
Any track off of the Natural Born Killers soundtrack is likely to bring an element of fear and panic, just two of the feelings which cause people to act foolish and selfishly in times of desperation. Cowboy Junkies singing the sugary yet sad "Sweet Jane" with footage from the film suit the mood. Sometimes, the anxiety and confusion can be more dangerous than the virus itself.
Paranoia is real. "The Beast" by The Fugees can you have listeners bopping their heads while looking over their shoulders and intensifying their distrust for the media and authorities.
Everyone is glued to their screens of all sizes, constantly filling their minds with information, as well as misinformation. John Prine has the perfect advice for us all in "Spanish Pipedream" telling us to "turn off the TV". It's good to be informed, but it can also lead folks to higher levels of anxiety than what is needed.
It is very frustrating for fans and performers to have to cancel their plans. In the end, for most people the best choice is to calm down and accept that as Bob Dylan sings, "You Ain't Going Nowhere". If you're feeling sick or unsure about going out, then don't.
As more and more folks end up staying home for longer periods of time, it's easy to imagine that most of us will be going au naturel at home, forgoing mani pedis and make-up for binge watching Netflix in pajamas. For the ladies (and some gentlemen) out there, there's Arethra Franklin's "Natural Woman."
In the end, the world will be okay on the other side of this outbreak. People are resilient and generally good natured in troubled times. As the Grateful Dead says, "I Will Get By".
Make best of what you've got during this Corona virus-apocalypse. Turn it up and dance at the "Zombie Zoo" with the late, great Tom Petty getting some help from Roy Orbison on this classic track. Who hasn't been feeling like they're in a zombie flick anyway?
Whether this is all the end or not, it's a good excuse to slow down and reflect on what you're actually doing with your time and energy, wide spread diseases or not. Let's all try our best to make good because what will you say when the man comes around?
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Gladys Fuentes is a first generation Houstonian whose obsession with music began with being glued to KLDE oldies on the radio as a young girl. She is a freelance music writer for the Houston Press, contributing articles since early 2017.