Before the Music Dies Reviews
If he or his fellow music lovers had any smarts, they would work within the system and write their Congressperson/senator to get rid of the Communications Act of 1996 so that radio could get back to what it was before the Act was signed and before Clear Channel and similar companies brought up everything, but all of these people are lazy mothers who are content (now that THEY'RE the older people who used to be this cantankerous about music) to be just talking heads denouncing everything that exists in music now simply because most of them are too lazy to find music that isn't pop (and my dissing also includes the director/narrator who couldn't even do any research to find new rock artists that aren't pop and feature them in this documentary.)
Somebody said it best just recently in reference to a recent magazine article/interview featuring Grace Jones making the same old fogy complaint:
'"No way. An aging pop star and a magazine decide to get the "Kids these days!" crowd to stop yelling at clouds for five minutes by appealing to nostalgia and going after the low-hanging fruit of them not understanding or enjoying modern pop stars and music (just like every prior generation) so that she can publicize her new book and the magazine can get some clickbait headlines? What an amazing development! It must be a day ending in "Y."
Bully for you, Grace Jones. Shake your fist at "THE ESTABLISHMENT" by saying one of the most establishment things that is humanly possible to say. Maybe come out with another interview about how Hollywood movies are all the same now, and lack the creativity and subtlety of a Conan the Destroyer or a A View to a Kill.
Guess what. Current pop stars aren't trying to appeal to you, just as the pop stars you liked growing up weren't trying to appeal to your parents and grandparents. If you can break the mold and like something outside of your demographic, that's great. More power to you for your open-mindedness and willingness to try new things. But it baffles me that people continually expect modern music to always remain in touch with their preferences indefinitely, even after having experienced the same thing with their parents and grandparents grumbling about not getting their music.
Musical tastes evolve, and just because it evolves in a way that no longer appeals to you doesn't make it of an objectively lesser quality."
I couldn't have said it better myself.
This documentary is a compelling look at the music industry from voices ranging from famous songwriters (Erykah Baduh, Dave Matthews) to unknown artists and all the way down to music fans. The directors did a good job organizing the interviews with interesting looks at what makes a pop star today. They took a model and had her sing extremely off-pitch then showed us how a studio engineer takes that unlistenable voice track and turns it into something that you could hear on the radio.
To some extent the film felt a little bit dated. It only came out a few years ago, so some of the complaints about how music is distributed is already out of date, but the general ideas are still the same.
My biggest complaint with the documentary, however, is that it falls into the trap that many music docs do. There is an overwhelming cry of "why isn't it like it used to be." Everyone pines for the days of Dylan and Wonder, and they let their voices be heard. We've all heard it before...
Overall, if you are a fan of music, you'll enjoy this documentary. Its really well-made.
I think my favorite point that was made was that Ray Charles and Stevie Wonder would not make it today. Why? They're blind. The music industry would feel uncomfortable pushing a blind artist.
I think David C. missed the main premise somehow...Shapter (the director) was a "music fan", not csomeone laiming to be an industry "expert". So the film is more about information he stumbled upon, not his view per se.
My god, he certainly stubled on some amazing music! Billy Preston, Clapton, DMB, Ray Charles, Erykah, Calexico North Miss All Stars...I forget who else.
I guess if you watched this film in 2007, you might not agree that the indutry was on the verge of collapse, but now that it's 2009, the film has been vindicated.
Just look at the sign in the window of the now closed Virgin Megastore in Times Square. It says "THE VIRGIN MEGASTORE IS CLOSED FOREVER. THE MUSIC INDUSTRY IS DEAD BUT THE MUSIC IS DOING JUST FINE." - Virgin MegaStore R.I.P.
Look like Before the Music Dies saw it coming after all...
Watch this documentary if you're interested in real musicianship.
At times it feels like a vehicle for Dave Matthews, but thankfully, that's only periodic.