Registration officially opened today for the 2013 EMP Pop Music Conference, hosted by the Clive Davis Institute of Recorded Music and the Department of Performance Studies at Tisch. The annual conference, which draws together leading scholars, journalists and music industry professionals, will be held this year in five cities simultaneously: New York, Seattle, Los Angeles, New Orleans and Cleveland.

EMP Comes to NYU April 18-19

The Clive Davis Institute of Recorded Music and the Department of Performance studies at NYU’s Tisch School of Arts today officially opened registration for the 2013 EMP Pop Music Conference. The annual conference, which draws together leading scholars, journalists and music industry professionals, will be held this year in five cities simultaneously: New York, Seattle, Los Angeles, New Orleans and Cleveland.

The NY conference theme, “After the Deluge,” will focus on a wide range of issues pertaining to the region’s musical landscape. Topics include: urban musical history and critical inflection points; how music discovery is affected by “one-click” digital downloads; and music as an outgrowth of environmental catastrophe, particularly in the wake of Hurricane Sandy.

The event will also feature a keynote talk by legendary producer Joe Boyd and a live-streamed keynote discussion by singer/composer/online entrepreneur Amanda Palmer. All events are free and open to the public. For a full schedule of the conference or to register, visit

“Last year’s eleventh anniversary EMP conference at NYU, which featured speakers like ?uestlove of the Roots and Grammy-winners Esperanza Spalding and Angelique Kidjo, was an unparalleled, blowout success, drawing more than a thousand attendees and presenters,” said King. “It was the largest edition of the pop music conference to date. This year, the conference is divided between five different cities, and here in New York, we will benefit from a tighter, more concentrated regional focus.”

The EMP Pop Music Conference, now in its 12th year, is an annual conference sponsored by Seattle’s EMP Museum, dedicated to preservation and study of popular music. For more than a decade, the conference has brought together top music academics, authors, journalists and professionals, and has broadened the understanding of the integral role that music plays in the human experience and resulted in multiple publications, including three essay collections. These successes have secured the conference as one of the foremost forums for discussion of music in the world.

This year’s conference at NYU is being produced by Tavia Nyong’o, associate chair of NYU’s Department of Performance Studies; Jason King, director of history and criticism studies at NYU’s Clive Davis Institute; and Ashley Kahn, adjunct professor at NYU’s Clive Davis Institute.

“The postdiluvian title of this year’s conference is meant to be open-ended, invite reflection and discussion on music and the city and region before, during, and after Superstorm Sandy,” said Nyong’o. “It also suggests consideration of how we— as critics and consumers — wade through the excesses and glut of music and musical information on the internet, and how we deal with the relative scarcity of resources and support for music following the economic collapse of the music industry.”

This year’s EMP conference will feature panels dealing with topics that range from “When Scenes Collide: Conflict and Crossover in New York City Music” and “From A Stream To A Torrent: Discovery In The Age Of One-Click Availability,” to “Feeling Historical: Pop and the Unstoried Present” and “Theorizing Sound Writing” (a full schedule of the panels can be found online at Among the panelists, presenters and moderators will be such leading lights in the field of music writing and scholarship as: Robert Christgau, Daphne Brooks, Will Hermes, Eric Lott, Maura Johnston, Greg Tate, Banning Eyre, Kyra Gaunt, Kandia Crazy Horse, and many others.

All conference events – with the exception of keynotes - will take place at NYU Tisch School of the Arts, located at 721 Broadway on the 6th Floor. Special keynote events, co-sponsored by Lincoln Center Out of Doors, include:

● Thursday, April 18, 6:30 – 8 p.m. - music industry veteran Joe Boyd (producer, author, record label chief, scene-starter) will offer tribute to one of his most enduring and enigmatic musical discoveries—the singer/songwriter Nick Drake—and explains the notion of today’s pop music canon, with historic footage, music excerpts, special guests and a surprise musical performance. The evening will begin with Harry Weinger, adjunct professor at Clive Davis, leading a brief discussion on the subject of canonical music and seminal recordings. Having recently co-taught NYU's new Classic Albums course with Amir “?uestlove” Thompson of The Roots, Weinger will speak on how he assembled the syllabus and his experience in the classroom. Held at the Silver Center for Arts and Science, 100 Washington Square East (between Washington and Waverly places).

● Thursday, April 18, 10 p.m. – Berklee School of Music-trained, singer/songwriter Jennah Bell performs at the nightclub DROM, located at 85 Avenue A. Bell is the product of a diverse range of musical influences from bluegrass, dub and rock, to funk.

● Friday, April 19, 6:30 – 8:30 p.m. - singer, songwriter, bandleader, and event-maker Amanda Palmer will speak on live interactivity, online connectivity and her role as a lightning rod in today’s music scene. Having drawn inspiration from a multitude of
worlds—alternative rock, cabaret, punk, avant-garde theater, agitprop and modern literature—she is widely recognized for tearing down walls between performer and audience, and updating the role of the artist in the digital age. Amanda Palmer’s keynote will be live-streamed at Held at Cantor Film Center, Theater 200, 36 E 8th St. (between Greene St. and University Pl.)

About the NYU Tisch Clive Davis Institute
The Clive Davis Institute of Recorded Music is the first of its kind to provide professional business and artistic training toward a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree. The undergraduate program focuses on providing professional training for students who aspire to succeed as creative entrepreneurs in the music industry. The program bears the name of its chief patron and advisor, Clive Davis.

About the NYU Tisch Department of Performance Studies
The Department of Performance Studies at New York University is the first program in the world to focus on performance as the object of analysis. We use performance as an organizing concept for studying a wide range of behaviors and situations, from museums and food to landscape and the aesthetics of everyday life. Our M.A./Ph.D. program explores the ways that performance creates meaning and shapes social life.

About the EMP Pop Conference
Launched in 2002, the EMP Pop Conference joins academics, critics, performers, and dedicated fans in a rare collective discussion examining the integral role that music plays in the human experience. Now in its 12th year, EMP Museum will partner with five prestigious organizations located in music meccas across the country for sessions in Seattle (EMP), New York City (NYU), Los Angeles (USC), New Orleans (Tulane), and Cleveland (Rock and Roll Hall of Fame).

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