Five Easy Pieces – EMP Pop Conference 2013

The Experience Music Project (EMP) Pop Conference in 2013 will be a five city live streaming event. The five easy pieces for Pop Conference 2013 will take place in Seattle (Central site), New York (the site of the 2012 Pop Conference that we attended), Los Angeles, New Orleans and Cleveland.  Please refer to the EMP Pop Conference page for more specifics, as the event is just unfolding.

Five different gatherings, in the East, West, South, Midwest, and Pacific Northwest, will take place on the same weekend, with a goal of live streaming the content for those unable to travel and preserving it for posterity. At each location, there will be one panel at a given time, rather than concurrent sessions, to foster regional community.

Local organizers, all veteran conference participants, will steer the program for each Pop Conference city: Oliver Wang of Cal-State Long Beach in Los Angeles (working with the USC Dornsife Center for Feminist Research, directed by Karen Tongson); Tavia Nyong’o of NYU in New York (working with the Clive Davis Institute of Recorded Music); Joel Dinerstein of Tulane in New Orleans (working with the New Orleans Center for the Gulf South); Lauren Onkey of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum in Cleveland; and Jasen Emmons of EMP Museum in Seattle.

My aim as an EMP/SFM Member(since 2009) is to increase my Pop Conference involvement in 2013 from the attendee level in 2012. I’m glad the NYU event is open-ended. I have contacted Tavia Nyong’o of NYU to learn more about where I can hopefully take part.

I learned that the Pop Conference 2012 event was published as a collection of papers by the Duke University Press soon after the event. Eric Weisbard served as Editor for Pop When the World Falls Apart, Music In The Shadow of Doubt. Eric is the EMP Pop Conference Organizer and is also Assistant Professor of American Studies at the University. This is the third collection of Pop Conference papers

I have a better idea now why Robert Christgau calls the Pop Conference,  “the best thing that’s ever happened to serious consideration of pop music.” I attended the session where he spoke last year (Refer to my blog post about Pop Conference 2012 here)

I look forward to the EMP Pop Conference 2013. I plan to update readers about this event moving forward. When I’m informed you will be informed, so stay tuned 🙂

2012 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony


We watched the HBO Special last night, the 2012 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony. The show was taped at the Cleveland Public Hall in Cleveland, Ohio on April 14th. It was a very entertaining and well-coordinated event. I like that it was held in a huge arena in Cleveland because it allowed many more fans to attend than the annual event at the Waldorf-Astoria ballroom permits.

I wanted to watch this event primarily out of respect for Adam Yauch of The Beastie Boys who had passed away on Friday. It was a sharp contrast to just see the two Beastie Boys approach the podium and accept their induction award. They read a message from Adam, MCA who was too ill to attend. It really reached my heart what he wrote for them both. So sad to lose MCA as we did.

Highlights of the event:

  • John Mellencamp inducting Donovan. I loved the enthusiasm John Mellencamp expressed for Donovan. Mellencamp brought with him to the podium his personal copy of Donovan’s vinyl album, Fairytale which I dug seeing him do. Donovan’s induction has been way over due.
  • Bette Midler inducting Laura Nyro. Her love and genuine emotion for Laura Nyro’s music affect epitomized how Laura Nyro won my heart as a music fan. So glad to see Laura Nyro finally recognized for her talent.
  • The Guns and Roses music segment hit it perfectly. “Sweet Child of Mine” with Slash playing those chords and notes on his Gibson Goldtop guitar really did it for me. Axl Rose’s decision not to attend and accept his award was truly his blunder.
  • I was moved to see the members of various groups like The Miracles, The Flames, Bill Haley and the Comets, Gene Vincent’s Blue Caps on the same stage, acknowledging their awards and admiration of their fans. You could so feel the love and mutual respect for these pioneers of music.
  • Flea’s acceptance speech was my favorite acknowledgement of the night.The Red Hot Chili Peppers live music segment was the performance highlight of the evening. They played my favorite song, “By The Way”. Their energy levels are amazing.

Rock and Roll Hall of Fame 2012 – Laura Nyro

The 2012 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony

Laura Nyro, c. 1968
Image via Wikipedia

I was truly pleased to see Laura Nyro‘s name among the 2012 inductees for the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. That honor has been long overdue. I wrote a blog post earlier this year about Laura Nyro. I mentioned in that post that Earthworks Films, Inc. is working on a film about Laura Nyro entitled, December’s Boudoir. It would be terrific and well-timed if that movie was ready to be released in harmony with Laura Nyro’s induction. I’d love to see some of the footage shown as part of her induction. Keeping my fingers crossed about that possibility 🙂

The induction ceremony moves to Cleveland, Ohio and will be held on April 14, 2012. It will be the culmination of a 10 day celebration starting April 5th. There will be more details of that celebration posted on the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Web site going forward. I see lots of advantages moving the induction ceremony from the Waldorf Astoria in New York City to Cleveland. One can only hope that for the 10 day celebration the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame plans to use the Web more actively with live Webcasts, video of recorded events and Web page information about each day of Induction 2012. It would be wonderful to include a wider, interested audience in this celebration.

I read and listened to Scott Simon NPR column, Simon Says about “Laura Nyro’s Lasting Eclectic Musical Legacy” which serves as the impetus for today’s music blog post.

Thank God for Spotify’s extensive music cloud which offers a comprehensive choice of Laura Nyro’s catalog.  Christmas and the beads of sweat is an ideal listen as we enter the twelve remaining days of Christmas 2011.


Women Who Rock: Vision, Passion, Power

women-who-rock.jpgI just discovered this incredible exhibition curated by Jim Henke at Cleveland’s Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, Women Who Rock: Vision, Passion, Power. It is also the subject of a companion PBS documentary, PBS Arts from Cleveland: Women Who Rock. 

The interactive exhibition spotlights more than 70 artists and fills two entire floors of the museum. The exhibit features artifacts, video and listening stations, as well as a recording booth where visitors can film a short story or moment of inspiration related to women in rock.

The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Website is content deep with information about the Women Who Rock: Vision, Passion, Power exhibition. If you are a fan, teacher, student or scholar (that’s me ;), you’ll find much to read and learn about about how women in rock have contributed to the music over the decades.

There is also a three page blog with lots of interesting insights. Remember girls just wanna have fun and I support that 100%!