A melting pot for fans, musicians, scholars, and journalists.
Welcome from Eric Weisbard, 2014 Pop Conference Organizer
Go! Music and Mobility
2014 Pop Conference
April 24–27, 2014, EMP Museum
We turn to music to put the world in motion. From communication by talking drum to sounds streamed off mobile phones, music has accompanied the movement of people, alleviated work, and pulsated leisure. This year’s EMP Pop Conference, back in Seattle after three years roaming, offers more than 100 presentations exploring the subject of music and mobility.
The conference begins Thursday night, April 24, with a “Musicians on the Road” conversation. A range of panels fill up Friday and Saturday, and conclude Sunday morning with topics like: Chuck Berry’s “Maybellene,” Woody Guthrie’s rambles, and touring in the era of Jim Crow; SoundCloud economies, pop crossover as social mobility, and the journey of Beyoncé; and Mexican border songs and yacht rock. For a full listing of presenters and panels, click on the links below.
As always with the Pop Conference, the range of presenters is as important as the subject matter: critics for the likes of NPR, New York magazine, and Slate in dialogue with leading academics, musicians, and archivists. We’re excited to see the return of “critical karaoke”—conversation about a song, conducted over that song, for exactly its duration. Other special events include a wheelchair and ringtone dance by the Light Motion and Whistlestop Dance Companies, surrealist poetry from Interrupture, and a documentary about Seattle’s Home Alive movement.
Conference attendance is free, but space is limited, so those seeking to attend are strongly encouraged to register in advance. Information about hotels can also be found on this page soon.
Questions? Please email PopConference@EMPmuseum.org.
Pop Conference 2014 kicks off at EMP Museum on Thursday, April 24:
5:00pm–7:00pm Registration (Group entrance)
5:00pm–6:45pm Opening Reception (Sky Church)
7:00pm Keynote: Musicians on the Road
The annual EMP Pop Conference, first held in 2002, mixes together ambitious music writing of every kind, in an attempt to bring academics, critics, musicians, and dedicated fans into a collective conversation. The conference was held at EMP from 2002–2010, at UCLA in 2011, NYU in 2012, and simultaneously at USC, NYU, the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, Tulane University, and EMP in 2013. Three books of conference writing have been published: This Is Pop, Listen Again, and Pop When the World Falls Apart.