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The movie in question resulted from inspiration that the two directors, Shaper and Joel Rasmussen had both upon losing their relative who was a musician. The two therefore made the film titled “Before that Music Dies (B4MD)” to showcase some important truths about music. From a humble distribution system at the grassroots level, the movie was picked especially amongst independent music fans. The director is of the opinion that the music industry has abandoned the true musicians. Music fans quote John, Shapter’s brother who opines that most likely, imagery has overtaken talent. He tries to make a point by saying that in most of the radio stations operating currently in the country, the image created by most musicians has replaced talent.This has evidently been downplayed to such an extent that “underground musicians” are no longer recognized amongst the top 40 places in the playlists lineup of most radio stations.
Performance of “Agent Double-O-Soul ” by songwriter Ray Charles gives an energetic start to the movie. The American tradition with regard to music is seen next, vividly narrated by Forest Whitaker, who establishes the place of music in America as part of the American culture. Apparently, America has been known to have the biggest collection of style and form of music, having a greater variety of these genres beyond any other country before it. Nevertheless, this is an opinion that is not very common with those who think that other countries took great part in making the music industry revolutionary. The documentary builds up on the notion that image has replaced talent in the music arena especially after advancement of the video clips that have constantly been aired. The documentary continues to highlight the impact that the video has created. In today’s music industry, the video feature constantly matters whenever the selling of music is concerned. The experiment performed to investigate this theory in the movie entails a high school student who shows a great deal of attaining celebrity status through a catchy tune she has created, her outstanding image and utilizing technology which refines her voice projection even further.
Criticism is given in this movie due to the homogeneity of pop music. A lot of companies have also been put under criticism because of owning more than one radio station through which a number of selected music tracks are preferred by the presenters. The United States Telecommunications Act had at one time restricted media companies to own and run only one radio station. After the lift of this restriction, these companies began running more than one radio station. Due to this monopoly, music has lacked diversification and the listeners are therefore not exposed to varying styles of music. Nevertheless, there is a contradiction to this notion, citing one view from one contributor, which states that there has been an evident diversification of country music through time which is called “alternative country music”.
Despite a wide range of criticism on the music industry, B4MD asserts that the industry is still alive. The introduction of such distribution agents as iPods, Facebook, YouTube and MySpace are making music reach places that it would otherwise have not reached yet. Extra melodies apart from what the radio stations play can now be heard without struggle. The general feeling of the movie at large is a little limiting. Its writers placed little focus on American music which seems to be unnecessary. Since the biggest music distributors of music are more often than not found in the international market, it is assumed that music genres in America leave the country effectively. It is true that most of the music styles and genre which have been created in America but that is not a reason as to why we should give the United States a unique status. Other countries also have their cultures defined by music.
Another aspect that should be considered is the fact that many female celebrities in the music industry have been preferred in the movie industry with big names such as Britney Spears featuring in them. In other words, the obsession that these celebrities have created with regard to image is showed through the presence of female singers in this movie. There is a lack of male solo artists, groups or music bands that are attached to major record labels all year round.
Another observation related to this movie is that it is seen that no one seems to argue for the music industry. Every person on the interview seems to throw in a sharp argument against the industry. As a result, it seemed as though every person called into the interview was speaking towards a solution to a problem that had already been identified. The series of interviews was therefore seen as an act of justification to what the industry has been doing to people. Note that the points made did not make sense; it would nevertheless have helped if there were more interviews of people who thought otherwise about the whole music industry.
Some of the big names that featured in this interview were Eric Clapton, Branfard Marsalis, Dave Matthews and Les Paul. Performances in the movie contained such names as Doyle Bramhall II and the North Mississippi All stars. The well articulated performances would make the movie a must watch.