This fellow is thinking about newsreels, protests,

charidee and shock absorption in popular music.

“How does music resist, negate, struggle? Can pop intensify vital confrontations, as well as transform and conceal them? What happens when people are angry and silly love songs aren't enough?”

A valid question, sure, and one that's at the center of this year's Experience Music Project pop conference, an annual three-day geek-out featuring some of the world's preeminent music writers and academics.

Over the course of the next few days at Frank Gehry's ugliest building, the Experience Music Project, presenters will wrestle with ideas, propose ridiculous notions, argue about arcane music marginalia and, well, shake hands with themselves. Each day, a few dozen writers will offer 20-minute presentations on any number of weird and wonderful topics, each answering in some way the question listed above: “How does music resist, negate, struggle?”

Well, let us count the ways. Among many others, writers will present papers on the following topics:

“Sammy Davis, Jr. vs. Juvenile Delinquency: Rock, Race, and the Record Industry”

“Music and Exile: The Displaced Chilean Musician of the Post-Pinochet Generation”

“Sturm, Twang, and Sauerkraut Cowboys: Country Music and Wild West Spaces in Europe”

“Mingus, Cassavetes, and the Politics of Improv”

“D’Angelo: Departures and Disappearances”

Sounds like a hoot, eh? Well, even if it sounds like a bunch of wonks wonking off, which it is, if you're at all interested in learning about music history, or like good writing, or simply curious about what your favorite rock writer looks like (they're all dashingly handsome with perfectly chiseled bodies and an arsenal of witty repartee), Seattle is the place to be. I'll be taking notes and calling bullshit over the next few days. Stay tuned.

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