We'll Play till We Die: Journeys across a Decade of Revolutionary Music in the Muslim World
In his iconic musical travelogue Heavy Metal Islam, Mark LeVine first brought the views and experiences of a still-young generation to the world. In We'll Play till We Die, he joins with this generation's leading voices to write a definitive history of the era, closing with a cowritten epilogue that explores the meanings and futures of youth music from North Africa to Southeast Asia.
We'll Play till We Die dives into the revolutionary music cultures of the Middle East and larger Muslim world before, during, and beyond the waves of resistance that shook the region from Morocco to Pakistan. This sequel to Mark LeVine's celebrated Heavy Metal Islam shows how some of the world's most extreme music not only helped inspire and define region-wide protests, but also exemplifies the beauty and diversity of youth cultures throughout the Muslim world.
Two years after Heavy Metal Islam was published in 2008, uprisings and revolutions spread like wildfire. The young people organizing and protesting on the streets—in dozens of cities from Casablanca to Karachi—included the very musicians and fans LeVine spotlighted in that book. We'll Play till We Die revisits the groundbreaking stories he originally explored, sharing what has happened to these musicians, their music, their politics, and their societies since then. The book covers a stunning array of developments, not just in metal and hip hop scenes, but with emo in Baghdad, mahraganat in Egypt, techno in Beirut, and more. LeVine also reveals how artists have used global platforms like YouTube and SoundCloud to achieve unprecedented circulation of their music outside corporate or government control. The first collective ethnography and biography of the post-2010 generation, We'll Play till We Die explains and amplifies the radical possibilities of music as a revolutionary force for change.
Praise for We'll Play till We Die: Journeys across a Decade of Revolutionary Music in the Muslim World
"Seen from one angle, Mark LeVine is a respected professor of Middle Eastern history at the University of California, Irvine, not far from Los Angeles. . . . But LeVine is also a rock guitarist gifted enough to perform in the shadow of Mick Jagger or Doctor John. . . . In fact, LeVine combines his academic methods and his passion for music in his solid investigations of the alternative scene in the Middle East . . . His last book, We'll Play Till We Die, deals with material gathered during, as the book's subtitle puts it, his Journeys across a Decade of Revolutionary Music in the Muslim World."
— Le Monde