The 2007 Pop Conference at Experience Music Project
Music happens, then it ripples. What is the relationship between the circumstances that produce music and our swirling notions of pop's past, future, and zeitgeist? How do the times affect the notes? What factors literally and figuratively change the beat of a city? Some decry postmodern "pastiche," while others defend pop concoctions as multiculturalism in action or intoxicating aesthetics. But what are the power relationships at work when music stops time and lets us dance in place?
For this year's Pop Conference, we invite presentations on music, time, and place. This might include:
*Reading time and place into musical innovation. The breakbeat as a refunking of sonic structure and origin myth; or the social history of changing time signatures.Proposals should be sent to Eric Weisbard at EricW@emplive.org by December 15, 2006. For individual presentations, please keep proposals to roughly 250 words and attach a brief (75 word) bio. Full panel proposals and more unusual approaches are also welcome. For further guidance, contact the organizer or program committee members: Jalylah Burrell (New York Press), Jon Caramanica (Vibe), Daphne Carr (series editor, Da Capo Best Music Writing), Jeff Chang (author, Can't Stop Won't Stop), Michelle Habell-Pallán(University of Washington), Josh Kun (University of Southern California) Eric Lott (University of Virginia), Ann Powers (Los Angeles Times), Simon Reynolds (author, Rip it Up and Start Again), Bob Santelli (author, The Big Book of Blues), and Judy Tsou(University of Washington). We are excited to announce that presentations from this year's conference will be considered for a future issue of The Believer.
* The racial, class, and gender components that constitute a pop place or time's "we"; the mutating New Orleans of the hip-hop, funk, R&B, and jazz eras, for example.
*Evolving notions of musical revivalism: retro culture, questions of periodization in music, and the validity of the concept of youth culture as a sign of the times.
*Geographies of sound, or how place is incorporated sonically. Lise Waxer called Cali, Colombia, an unlikely bastion of salsa revivalism, a "city of musical memory."
*The dematerialization of the album into the celestial jukebox and other new media. Does the Chicken Noodle Soup dance live on 119 and Lex or on Youtube?
*How dichotomies of nearness/experience and farness/history affect music fanship, music writing, and music making.
*The "place" of pop now, culturally, professionally, and certainly politically.
The Pop Conference connect academics, critics, musicians, and other writers passionate about talking music. Our second anthology, Listen Again: A Momentary History of Pop Music, will be published by Duke in 2007. The conference is sponsored by the Seattle Partnership for American Popular Music (Experience Music Project, the University of Washington School of Music, and radio station KEXP 90.7 FM), through a grant from the Allen Foundation for Music. For more information, see this website. and click on "Pop Conference."