EMP Pop Conference 2013 - Los Angeles

Locals Only: Pop and Politics in This Town


For years, certain beaches in Los Angeles would sport “Locals Only” scrawl to ward off “outsiders” from neighborhood surf turf. For the EMPLA conference, we’re commandeering the slogan to instead pay tribute to the importance of location, neighborhood, and community in defining “majority minority” regions such as Southern California.

Similarly, in invoking The Go-Go’s fascination with “This Town” and its double-edged glamour, we hope to underscore how our town has long dwelled in the shadow of the culture industry and its gendered star systems. Nevertheless, different communities have found myriad ways of responding to its influence.



  • Wednesday, April 17

    It All Dies Anyway: Los Angeles and the End of an Era

    West Hollywood Public Library Auditorium

    EMPL.A.'s opening roundtable will feature authors, performers, and musicians active in the independent music scene spawned by the all-ages venue Jabberjaw (1989-1997), formerly on Pico Blvd. in mid-city L.A. more


    Allison Wolfe

    Michelle Carr
    Raquel Gutierrez
    Eric Erlandson
    David Scott Stone

  • Friday, April 19

    So-Cal Scenes

    USC Tutor Campus Center, Franklin Room Suite

    Drew Tewksbury, KCET, Schools are Old School: Musical Knowledge Metastasizes through Online Networks

    Derek Papa, CSU-Fullerton, “What Orange Curtain?” – Grassroots, Collective Music Venues in Suburban Orange County

    Ricci Garcia, CSU-Long Beach, Border Hoppin’ Hardcore: Latina/o Punks and the Forming of a Transborder Popular Culture Revolutionary Subjectivity on the Los Angeles / Tijuana Bajalta California Borderlands, 1974-1999

    Areum Jeong, UCLA, Horsing Around: Locality and Transnationality in PSY’s “Gangnam Style”


    Erica Flores

    Drew Tewksbury
    Derek Papa
    Ricci Garcia
    Areum Jeong

    How We Hear, Here

    USC Tutor Campus Center, Franklin Room Suite

    Jose Anguiano, UC Santa Barbara, The Soundtrack of Labor in Los Angeles: Mexican Custodians’ Music Listening Practices at a Southern California University

    Kai Green, USC, Catching the Incurable Contagion: Black Los Angeles’ Disco Queers

    Lucas Hilderbrand, UC Irvine, LA, Are You Queer?: Josie Cotton and the Question of New Wave Pop Sexuality

    Marissa Steingold, UCLA, Auto-Tune: Coming Clean


    Evelyn McDonnell

    Jose Anguiano
    Kai Green
    Lucas Hilderbrand
    Marissa Steingold



    No panels.


    Revisiting the Long Beach Music Scene

    USC Tutor Campus Center, Franklin Room Suite

    Long Beach, California is the most diverse city in the United States, one with a long and rich musical history that is often overlooked because it exists in the shadow of Los Angeles and its culture industry. This presentation seeks to contribute to the history of popular culture in Long Beach and to our understanding of local music scenes by focusing on a vital period in the late 1980s and early 1990s when multicultural and multi-genre musical practices came together in the city, creating a local scene that went on to global fame.


    Sarah Bennett
    Marshall Goodman
    Brett Mizelle
    Dennis Owens

    Beyond the Valley of the Dolls

    USC Tutor Campus Center, Franklin Room Suite

    Chauntelle Tibbals, USC, Beyond “Porn Funk” – socio-cultural evolutions of music in adult content, past and present

    Jeff Treppel, Hamburgers Don’t Age Well: The Disowning of Hair Metal

    Elina Shatkin, Los Angeles Magazine, The Strange Case of Chris Gaines and Garth Brooks

    Lisa Locascio, USC, “Converted All My Dollars into Rands”: Zuid-Afrika, the “Overseas,” and the Fictional Autobiography of Yo-Landi Vi$$er


    Ned Raggett

    Chauntelle Tibbals
    Jeff Treppel
    Elina Shatkin
    Lisa Locascio

  • saturday, april 20

    Destroy More Monsters

    REDCAT Theater

    In 1973, visual artists Mike Kelley, Jim Shaw, Niagara (Lynn Rovner) and filmmaker Cary Loren started a band called Destroy All Monsters. Over the next decade, the group blew apart the borders between performance art and music.

    The same rich tradition continues today in Los Angeles with powerful women at the forefront. This panel will investigate the interdisciplinary work of Erika Anderson (EMA), Emily Lacy, and Carolyn Pennpacker Riggs. It will also discuss how notions of gender, politics, and location have informed their creations.


    Margaret Wappler
    Nikki Darling
    Emily Lacy
    Erika M. Anderson (EMA)
    Carolyn Pennypacker Riggs

    good kid/m.A.A.d. Panel

    REDCAT Theater

    Sandwiched between Fiona Apple’s tongue-twisting The Idler Wheel Is Wiser than the Driver of the Screw and Whipping Cords Will Serve You More than Ropes Will Ever Do and Frank Ocean’s brilliant Channel Orange on Time Magazine’s 2012 “The Top 10 of Everything: Albums” list was another Los Angeles newcomer, MC Kendrick Lamar and his autobiographical good kid, m.A.A.d. City.

    This roundtable brings together academics(/musicians) in dialogue over the work and impact of Lamar and his relationship to the geographies that he claims. We imagine a kind of listening session with commentary, as we dissect, connect, and disturb the narrative flow of good kid, m.A.A.d. City and its reverberations beyond this specific time and place.



    Robeson Taj P. Frazier
    Anthony Ratcliff
    Shana L. Redmond
    Damien M. Schnyder

    Krumpin' In North Hollywood

    REDCAT Theater

    Last year marked the 10th anniversary of krump, a street dance created by marginalized working-class black youth living in South Los Angeles. Since its establishment krump has grown into a dance form celebrated and performed globally.

    This roundtable will bring together Lil’ C and Miss Prissy, two of krump's founders and the organizers of the 818 Session, as well as several krump dancers, dance journalists, and scholars on popular culture to discuss the importance and creative value of street dance as well the multifarious politics of the 818 Session.


    Marquisa "Miss Prissy" Gardner
    Christopher "Lil C'" Toler
    Deidra “Krucial” Cooper-Jenkins
    Manny “Xclusive” Fernandez
    Darren “Outrage” King
    Christopher “Worm” Lewis
    Robeson Taj Frazier
    Jessica Koslow

    Critical Karaoke 3.0

    REDCAT Theater

    Critical Karoake is the brain child of Joshua Clover who introduced the idea at a past EMP conference: each speaker gets to talk about a song, for the length of the song, as the song plays behind them. The approach can be as personal or experimental as the speaker wants. Consider it a jukebox of eclectic tastes, knowledge and styles.


    Peter Coviello
    Jack Halberstam
    Edwin Hill
    Yetta Howard
    Amir Hussain
    Douglas Kearney
    Sarah Kessler
    Alexandra Lippman
    Madison Moore
    Jody Beth Rosen
    Emily Yoshida

For full panel details, presenter's bios and abstracts, and more, visit the EMPLA official website.

Official Website