BEFORE THE MUSIC DIES - DVD & Upcoming screenings

The Future of American Music Hangs In the Balance

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 homogenous corporate product that is spoonfed 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.

The Dave Matthews Band
Erykah Badu
Doyle Bramhall II
Elvis Costello
Bonnie Raitt
Widespread Panic
Eric Clapton
My Morning Jacket
Branford Marsalis
North Mississippi Allstars
Guy Forsyth
David Hidalgo
Les Paul
Michael Penn
Billy Preston
Kacy Crowley
Ephraim Owens
Steve Poltz
Hubert Sumlin
Nora Jean Bruso
Correo Aereo

Buy the Limited Edition DVD

  • Documentary
  • DVD Synopsis:

    With outstanding performances and revealing interviews Before the Music Dies takes a critical look at the homogenization of popular music with commentary by some of the industry's biggest talents like Eric Clapton, Dave Matthews, Elvis Costello, Erykah Badu, Branford Marsalis, Bonnie Raitt and more. Using historic footage the film looks at the evolution of American music and the artists who created it and pulls back the curtain (in a very creative way) to expose the sad truth behind today's "artificial" music stars. "The reality is that superficiality is in," says Marsalis. "And depth and quality is kind of out." Inspired by the death of his brother, director Andrew Shapter and his crew traveled thousands of miles, visiting dozens of cities, speaking with hundreds of fans, journalists, record executives and musicians while searching for "real" American music. What they found were mega-talents without a major label, including one artist Eric Clapton believes is "the real thing."


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