Before the Music Dies (B4MD)

Before the Music Dies (B4MD)

2006, Performing Arts  -   27 Comments
7.72
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Ratings: 7.72/10 from 25 users.

Before the Music Dies (B4MD)Ever since MTV arrived in our living rooms, there has been an inordinate amount of emphasis on beauty and youth and appearance - none of which enters our consciousness through our ears. Never have so few companies controlled so much of the music played on the radio and for sale at retail stores. At the same time, there are more bands and more ways to discover their music than ever. Music seems to have split in two - the homogeneous corporate product that is spooned to consumers and the diverse independent music that finds devoted fans online and at clubs across the country.

Before the Music Dies tells the story of American music at this precarious moment. Filmmakers Andrew Shapter and Joel Rasmussen traveled the country, hoping to understand why mainstream music seems so packaged and repetitive, and whether corporations really had the power to silence musical innovation. The answers they found on this journey–ultimately, the promise that the future holds–are what makes Before the Music Dies both riveting and exhilarating.

At the heart of Before the Music Dies are interviews with musicians, industry insiders, music critics, and fans that reveal how music has reached this moment of truth. Featured performances from a truly diverse group of artists, ranging from The Dave Matthews Band and Erykah Badu to Seattle street performers and Mississippi gospel singers show us that great music is always out there… as long as you know where to look. Before the Music Dies will renew your passion for great music, and inspire you to play an active part in its future.

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Cory B. Ellis
Cory B. Ellis
1 year ago

This documentary is absolutely fantastic! If you are a music teacher, get your hands on a copy of this film and play it for your students. If you are a music fan between the ages of 18 and 30 under the influence of Top 40 radio or American Idol, WATCH THIS DVD and get educated! Hailed by XM radio as "the most important film that a music fan will ever see", Before the music dies is a much-needed, eye opening piece of work that must be seen by EVERYONE with an interest in the current state of American music. The filmmakers Andrew Shapter and Joel Rasmussen deserve a big thank you from all of us for creating a hard-hitting film of truth that exposes the ugly corporate take over of the music industry. Both Shapter and Rasmussen lost siblings who were musicians and decided to make this movie as a dedication and tribute to their lost loved ones.

This movie will take the blindfold off the eyes of top 40 pop fans and shows us how mainstream music has been hijacked by money-hungry music executives and record labels who sacrifice musical integrity and originality for profit. Eric Clapton, Bonnie Raitt, Dave Matthews, Branford Marsalis {great commentary from this man!}, Nancy Giles, Michael Penn, and other music industry insiders go on camera and TELL IT LIKE IT IS! Their commentary is both eye-opening and fantastic, explaining how modern music fans are only given access to contrived pop stars by radio programmers while REAL artists who stand for originality or true musicianship are shamefully rejected by major record labels today.

Never before has the music industry valued money over music to such a disturbing degree. Today's record companies are looking for pretty boys and prettier girls who appeal to the fickle 18-30 year old demographic - brainwashed music fans who ignorantly believe that any artist not shoved down their throats by radio or TV is simply not worth listening to. Talent and real musical ability is now secondary to image and sex appeal. Talented artists looking to stand out from the cookie-cutter crowd with their own unique sound or style are not allowed on the radio any longer and go sadly unnoticed by mainstream listeners. Great music and the musicians who create it are tragically becoming a dying breed as a clueless music-buying public is never given access to it.

This DVD should be required viewing in high school music classes everywhere. If you care about the future of American music, get your hands on this DVD today and play it for every young music fan you know.

Peter Hill
Peter Hill
3 years ago

we had John Peel in the UK, if you can listen to one of his shows on youtube, the range of his playlist was sublime.

Imightberiding
Imightberiding
11 years ago

Fantastic doc! Time well spent.

Kaleigh Mason
Kaleigh Mason
11 years ago

I love Erykah Badu, She is out of her awesome crazy mind.

Chaz Ed
Chaz Ed
12 years ago

This was as expected! First off, I don't want to come off as a hater... I live in Memphis and am hip to a few of the best Blue's players in the area! When you see em live, they will blow you away with what they do! Good Music? Definitely! Radio worthy, well not so much. And really, only a few have seen the success of Pop stars! I didn't grow up around the Blue's or here, I grew up in N. Cali. and no clue as a child what the genre was really about! My introduction to the Blue's was through bands like Cream and Hendrix! If it weren't for that then, and I saw Eric Clapton today, I would consider him good but not great! The half dozen times I had encounters with AR executives and the possibilities of getting signed, it soon revealed what a can of worms the business really is! That for me was in the late 70's in L.A. We had a band then that I considered M.O.R. I compare our music then with Eagle's, James Taylor, or maybe Crosby, Stills Nash and Young! We were a quick hit in town and touted as a top 10 unsigned act at the time! We ended up under the wing of Doug Weston at the Troubadour and so it went for 2 years! No Deal was signed and so much for L.A. The Early 80's found me hanging out the only place that spoke to me then! I wanted to get as far away from the scene and industry as possible! Back in Memphis, at the Antenna Club, and the growing Punk and new music then is where I landed! Things were changing and I went in the flow! The independent labels started up and in my opinion, it's happening more and more everyday! We started our own label and production co and released our record with local play and edged out MTV bands locally, and we were on the way, so it seemed! The cronies again started to rear their insidious heads and instead of promoting us, they wanted to get us out of the picture for fear of cutting into another act they were promoting! Same thing for our late 70's band. Motown offered us a deal that didn't offer a budget with enough teeth to finish and promote anything! The plan the was to shelve us and put us through the ringer with a contract that would bind us for the world! SoundCloud just hit 10 million members or artists or ? I don't listen to the radio, I don't watch TV, although I do catch glimpses of American Idol and such tripe as I pass through on occasion! It has all left me cold and not caring what goes on in the "REAL" world! (add snicker here) For me it's the occasional gig for cash and siting in front of a computer writing both music, (ambient, background and songs with lyrics), and a fiction novel! Tonight, is the Symphony and maybe a little Blue's if one of my fav Bass players in on Beale! Sad that this Doc hit it square on the head! The Stevie Ray's and Muddy Waters are now of a past that led us here! Where it will go is anyone's guess! I believe like anything it will sort itself out and there will always be people that have different tastes! And there will always be people trying to push the masses into a mold and profit! So, whatever you like, go support them! Some of the best musicians I know play for tips and your smile!

bemoreoriginal
bemoreoriginal
12 years ago

Crass commercialism in music is not new. It existed in the 50s and 50s - and some of the artists complaining in this film are guilty of it as well. This documentary does not go far enough, dig deep enough, and promotes it's own form of music elitism. They could have promoted truly independent and alternative to the mainstream music. Furthermore, the plea to teach kids about classic rock is ridiculous. Classic Rock is played everywhere because the baby-boomers want to listen to the same 10 bands their whole lives. Lots of creative independent musicians don't get a look in because people still obsess over The Beatles, or ACDC, or Journey! I teach college and as many kids listen to their parent's generation bands as much as anything contemporary. This film is well intentioned, makes points we all know about the music industry, but offers a line of thinking that is just as much part of the problem as part of the solution. There is always good music to be found - you just have to dig deeper for it. You won't find it listening to Bob Dylan over and over!

hpthoroughbreds
hpthoroughbreds
12 years ago

so sorry vlaTko.

hpthoroughbreds
hpthoroughbreds
12 years ago

now THATS how you dance Billy Preston!!! can feel the music just busting out!!!! tx vladko!!!

wald0
wald0
13 years ago

Best doc I have seen on the music industry ever, loved it!! I have been a musician most of my life, and though I never really had the talent to make it I knew and played with peoople that did. They had passion and talent, two things missing in ninety percent of the music I hear now days. But, they didn't look the part and their music didn't fit the model so they are still playing local gigs.

I haven't listened to the radio in years, I always wondered what changed, now I know. Just like everything else that becomes overly commercialized it was ruined by money. This is why i fight against the privitization of things like education, commercialism never makes thing better because it changes the purpose of what you are doing. You are no longer in education to educate but to make the most money, just like the radio business is no longer there for the sake of exposing us to good music, they are only there to make the most money.

Doug Hale
Doug Hale
13 years ago

This is an awesome documentary! and i love all the artists featured. you know people, who when asked: "what sort of music are you into?" want to say "the sort of music that gets pushed to the sidelines by your drone-like gobbling up of contemptible little pukes like Justin Bieber" but end up saying "all sorts really" this documentary is for them [us]. Im currently writing my thesis on how market concentration inhibits innovation in the recording industry, so this was well useful for the opening gobbits!

Brian Morin
Brian Morin
13 years ago

Good documentary, thanks! - bri <3

Note
Note
13 years ago

One word that stuck in my mind from this was "Dehumanizing". Cause that's exactly what the music industry is doing to music these days. The record companies, radio companies, and money hungry people in their fancy business suits, they're sucking all the human out of something that is all about being human. Something that was born to express what it's like to be human. Something that reminds people of their precious human emotions, jolts them awake from their tedious robotic life.
One of my pet peeves has always been when people listen to a piece of music and say "Oh i don't like that, it's too weird". Weird?? Really? What is "weird"? I'll tell you what weird is, it's something that's unfamiliar, something you don't recognize, it's something NEW. How could anyone not want something new, something different. Because they've been told for so long that music is "this". A linear format, an object with a shape, a game with rules. If that object doesn't fit in the hole then it doesn't belong, but i say Music has no shape or form or map, genre or instruction booklet. If it does then it just ain't music.
I think we have a duty as human beings to open each other's minds every chance we can, with new ideas, new sounds, new words, new ways. It's not a difficult concept. I call it evolution. And it's always drove me up to the ceiling in frustration and sadness to know that people out there are standing on the foot of evolution in the music industry today.
It's good to watch this doc though, it's nice to know that a lot of other people out there in the world have also been noticing the music quietly, slowly dying in the corner. I hope one day music will be given back to the people that love it, need it and know it.

thanks for this one Vlatko, and all the rest of them too, you're doing a good service to everyone with this website. Good job.

mark
mark
13 years ago

thanks, very interesting.

Dave Mathews, pretty accurate prediction about the radio and music business.

There is a lot of good music around, you just don't hear it on many radio stations. except campus radio.

and there are a lot of private internet radio stations that are outstanding.

and if you want to play music, do so. But don't expect to be able to make any money at it, cause you won't be able to.

cess
cess
13 years ago

wow!
i wish this was a SERIES!
thanks again Vlatko!

cess
cess
13 years ago

vlatko! u r the man!
keep up the outstanding work!

cess
cess
13 years ago

wow. the #1 doc i wantedto see‚and it
wont work! no hulu in canada either!
daaaaaaaaaaamn

ana
ana
14 years ago

that doyle bramhall is someone special.....i liked this doc....it touched base on the things that bother me most about the current music industry, While shedding light on what a quality listening experience should consist of.

Snax
Snax
15 years ago

Are there any documentaries about how the Clear Channel and Cumulus type companies are using subliminal messages on the radio to psychlogically manipulate the public? Or is it just my personal theory based on my research of Ed Bernays?