KEXP Suggests: 2014 EMP Pop Conference, 4/24-4/27

After three years roaming, the 2014 EMP Pop Conference returns to Seattle on April 24-27, with the theme Go! Music and Mobility, appropriately enough. The Pop Conference is an amazing opportunity for fans and musicians to reflect on where we’ve been and where we’re headed. Hosted by EMP Museum and the University of Alabama, this year’s gathering features over 100 presentations on music and mobility by a wide range of musicians, music professionals, and fans, including critics from NPR and Slate, academics and archivists.

On Thursday, April 24th from 7:00pm to 8:30pm, the conference kicks off with the keynote, “Musicians on the Road” featuring four musicians from disparate backgrounds — Sharon Jones, Mike McCready, Meshell Ndegeocello, and Alynda Lee Segarra — discussing what it’s like to be a musician “on the move” and offering their unique perspectives on everything from touring to recording.

Friday’s schedule shows the range of the conference, with everything from a morning discussion on Katy Perry; “You’re Gonna Hear Me Roar,” led by New York magazine’s pop critic Jody Rosen; afternoon panels on “Benders” and “Social Mobility”; and an evening keynote performance by Evelyn Harris, formerly of Sweet Honey in the Rock.

Saturday means more difficult decisions: attend “Queen Bey and Her Court,” a round table discussion by feminist cultural critics, or learn how K-Records became an international phenom at “The Giddiest: K-Pop”? Spend some time with David Cantwell’s “Provocateurs” or consider “Mobilizing Postcoloniality from the Global Sonic Sweatshop”?

Where ever you end up, don’t miss special events like the lunch performance by Light Motion and Whistlestop Dance Companies, “Wheeling, Careening, and Wandering through EMP: A Site-Specific Physically Integrated Dance” with six dancers, three in wheelchairs and three “stand-ups” or the return of “critical karoake” a conversation about a song for exactly the duration of that song.

The events conclude Sunday, with a final panel, “Moving Ahead with the EMP Conference”, led by conference organizer Eric Weisbard, in which all are welcome to attend and participate.

It’s been said that an unexamined life isn’t worth living, but perhaps an unexamined song isn’t worth listening to. Sometimes we need to turn it up loud and sing along, but every once in a while we need to ask ourselves, what does this mean? Don’t miss this incredibly fun opportunity to go deep at the 2014 EMP Pop Conference.

Attendance is free, but space is limited. Register here now.

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