The EMP's annual Pop Conference is just around the corner, set to begin on Thursday night – and I can hardly wait.
This year's theme is "Dance Music Sex Romance", with a wide range of papers and discussions around that theme. Registration is free, and can be done online. What kind of person goes to the Pop Conference? Well, Chuck Klosterman answered this in his book, Sex, Drugs and Coco Puffs:
Imagine if the weirdo who seems to live in your nearest locally owned record store sudeenly had a 152 IQ and a degree from Tufts. And now imagine a hundred of those people coming together for four rainy days in Seattle, all of them totally fucking stoked for the opportunity to compare The Kinks Are the Village Green Preservation Society with Danish physicist Niels Bohr's field theory on radioactive decay….
…the conference brought together a wide array of respected academics and snarky rock critics who were asked to "think about pop music in the abstract." What this really meant is that one hundred people who like Sigur Ros way too much came together to read self-penned manuscripts that were either too goofy to be classified as scholarship or too pedantric to be seen as commercially viable.
Even though I don't like Sigur Ros, I am in the "totally fucking stoked" camp for the Pop Con this year. There are some fantastic ideas for paper that I really want to see (Holly George-Warren's paper on Wanda Jackson comes to mind immediately) but I'm most excited to be able to see the music writers like Robert Christgau, Ann Powers, Douglas Wolk, Eric Weisbard, Greil Marcus, Carl Wilson and Jody Rosen talk, and hopefully meet them because they all have been hugely influential in how I write and think about music.
Details from the Pop Conference, including schedules, presenter bios and such are on the EMP's website.