The ninth annual Pop Conference (April 15-18) revolves around stories of sounds and the machines that make them. From the player piano to Autotune software (both topics here), pop’s contraptions have constantly reshaped musical history. Look for sessions on cellphones, recording studios, the black voice remixed, and fandango jarocho, presentations on everything from vinyl/cassette fetishism and post-punk reverb to Public Enemy’s Bomb Squad and Andy Warhol’s tape recorder. Queen’s Freddie Mercury will be deconstructed by an all-star cast of critics and academics; an equally notable cohort of veterans will dissect whether the music scene was as jolted by technology in the 2000s as it appeared. Note: this conference is not aimed at gearheads. These sessions will allow you to hear the voices that wrap flesh around the wiring. Conference attendance is free to the public, but space is limited and pre-registration is recommended. For more details about the conference or to register, follow the above link.


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