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'Unsound', An Upcoming Documentary About The Collapse Of The Music Industry

this is the end…

There is a new and upcoming documentary called ‘Unsound’, which exposes the essential problem of our time: the collapse of the music industry (and its unintended consequences in other creative domains) because of the internet revolution. There is not a week that passes when we hear a musician complaining about Spotify or Internet piracy, and nobody can seem to find a solution to the problem. However the problem is huge, we are in crisis, how can we hope to continue to have artists and creators if they can’t make a living out of their art and struggle to survive?

We are living in the age of free, free music, free art, even free books, and Unsound explores this story of our time, by featuring musicians, filmmakers and journalists talking about the dramatic effect of free. I don’t think most people realize it but this is a revolution, a complete transformation, and the consequences of this transformation of the music industry will be dramatic. 

In the trailer – which starts with the hilarious and cynical Hunter S.Thompson’s sentence ‘The music business is a cruel and shallow money trench, a long plastic hallway where thieves and pimps run free and good men die like dogs. There’s also a negative side’ – musicians and journalists are pondering on the future, when everything creative is at stake, when the value of music has diminished so much. Will music become just a hobby and will all musicians be forced to find a daytime job soon? If 99% of the artists can’t make a living out of their art, if they have no control over their creation, the future doesn’t look good for them, and for society in general, which will be deprived of great art.

The film contains a lot of interviews from major musicians and public figures such as U2/Dave Matthews’ producer Steve Lillywhite, Nine Inch Nails/Marilyn Manson’s Chris Vrenna, US Congressman Jerrold Nadler, Pandora founder Tim Westergren, Diplo, Noam Chomsky, Devo’s Mark Mothersbaugh, Rolling Stone’s Steve Knopper, Bad Religion’s Brett Gurewitz, Digital Music News’ Paul Resnikoff, Living Colour’s Vernon Reid, Lawrence Lessig, and many others. But the movie also focuses on the personal stories of 5 central characters: cellist Zoe Keating, indie rock icon David Lowery from the bands Cracker and Camper Van Beethoven, Jurassic 5, Tycho, and singer songwriter Rhett Miller.

The filming of the documentary by San Francisco-based musician/director/producer Count, is done at 90% and they are doing a campaign on Indiegogo to raise $52,000 for the editing, which, they estimate, is the bare minimum. Expect to see this documentary at film festivals soon. I don’t think it brings any answer – is there even one? – but it is asking an essential question.

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