The afterlife of a moment’s monument: MoPOP Pop Conference 2019

Anticipating my first home-mixed martini with a trembling wonder akin to watching the sun rise over an eastern beach, I sat in my Lyft car a few minutes before seven this morning wondering if this year was the best #PopCon or the benign conflation of meeting new friends and deepening ties with older one. Both? Sure. I’ve written often how MoPOP Pop Conference works as both professional development and mass therapy: a refreshening of the spirit against twelve months of frontal assault from trends in late phase capitalism. Continue reading

Singles 4/12

A marvelous week, led by two dance tracks of real sinuousity and a meticulously arranged Mountain Goats narrative. The year’s most discussed country hip-hop single got reviewed too in its Billy Ray Cyrus-free version.

Click on links for full reviews

Peggy Gou – Starry Night (9)
Jayda G – Stanley’s Get Down (No Parking on the DF) (9)
The Mountain Goats – Younger (8)
Nilüfer Yanya – In Your Head (8)
Kindness ft. Robyn – Cry Everything (7)
Rosalía & J Balvin ft. El Guincho – Con Altura (7)
Alec Benjamin – Let Me Down Slowly (5)
Lil Nas X – Old Town Road (5)
Ariana Grande & Victoria Monét – Monopoly (3)
Why Don’t We & Macklemore – I Don’t Belong In This Club (1)
Zara Larsson – Don’t Worry Bout Me (0)

Rolling Billboard top ten singles, 2007

The Hague

50 Cent – Ayo Technology
Alicia Keys – No One
Plain White T’s – Hey There Delilah
Daughtry – It’s Not Over
Chris Brown featuring T-Pain – Kiss Kiss
Fergie – Clumsy
Gym Class Heroes featuring Patrick Stump – Cupid’s Chokehold
The All-American Rejects – It Ends Tonight


Britney Spears – Gimme More
Timbaland featuring OneRepublic – Apologize
Gwen Stefani ft. Akon – The Sweet Escape
Carrie Underwood – I’ll Stand By You
Jordin Sparks – Tattoo
My Chemical Romance – Welcome to the Black Parade
Fergie – Big Girls Don’t Cry
Akon – Sorry, Blame It On Me
Sean Kingston – Beautiful Girls
Unk – Walk It Out
Plies featuring T-Pain – Shawty
High School Musical Cast – What Time Is It?

Sound, Solid Entertainments

Carrie Underwood – Before He Cheats
Pink – U + Ur Hand
Rihanna featuring Jay-Z – Umbrella
Soulja Boy Tell ‘Em – Crank That (Soulja Boy)
Ludacris featuring Mary J. Blige – Runaway Love
Timbaland featuring Nelly Furtado and Justin Timberlake – Give It to Me
Rihanna – Hate That I Love You
Keyshia Cole featuring Missy Elliott and Lil’ Kim – Let It Go
Mims – This Is Why I’m Hot
Lloyd featuring Lil Wayne – You
Rich Boy featuring Polow da Don – Throw Some D’s
Beyoncé and Shakira – Beautiful Liar
Justin Timberlake – Summer Love
T-Pain featuring Akon – Bartender

Good to Great

Justin Timberlake – What Goes Around…Comes Around
Amy Winehouse – Rehab
Kanye West – Stronger
Ne-Yo – Because of You
Dixie Chicks – Not Ready to Make Nice
Feist – 1234
Maroon 5 – Makes Me Wonder
Avril Lavigne – Girlfriend

‘The dance floor elides differences between the secular and the numinous’

When Katherine Meizel invited me to write about the Pulse shootings for a MoPop Pop Conference panel called “Raise Your Voice: Music and Mass Violence,” I wanted nothing to do with it at at first. Not because of that anodyne excuse I’ve Moved On. Quite the opposite. I held on to the anger. I didn’t want to lose the anger. So I wrote a paper set a minute before the massacre began. I prefer it to my “Deadbeat Club” submission. Here it is:


Ranking Billboard top ten singles, 2006

Timbaland blows up pop with Nelly Furtado and Justin Timberlake, The Fray teach a nation of young millions that Pilot were okay, Hinder puckers their lips. The biggest news? “Weird Al” scored his only top ten.

The Hague

The Fray – Over My Head (Cable Car)
Christina Aguilera – Ain’t No Other Man
Hinder – Lips of an Angel
Nick Lachey – What’s Left of Me
James Blunt – You’re Beautiful
Fergie – London Bridge
Cascada – Everytime We Touch
Gwen Stefani – Wind It Up
Nickleback – Far Away
Zac Efron, Drew Seeley and Vanessa Anne Hudgens – Breaking Free
Daniel Powter – Bad Day
Fergie featuring – London Bridge


The Fray – How to Save a Life
Diddy featuring Nicole Scherzinger – Come to Me
Natasha Bedingfield – Unwritten
Chris Brown – Yo (Excuse Me Miss)
Bow Wow featuring Chris Brown and Johntá Austin – Shortie Like Mine
Snow Patrol – Chasing Cars
Eminem featuring Nate Dogg – Shake That Ass
Taylor Hicks – Do I Make You Proud
Red Hot Chili Peppers – Dani California
Dem Franchize Boyz featuring Lil Peanut and Charlay – Lean wit It, Rock wit It
Sean Paul – Temperature
LL Cool J ft. Jennifer Lopez – Control Myself
The Pussycat Dolls featuring Snoop Dogg – Buttons
Jibbs – Chain Hang Low
Field Mob featuring Ciara – So What
Ludacris featuring Pharrell – Money Maker

Sound, Solid Entertainments

Beyoncé featuring Jay-Z – Déjà Vu
Nelly Furtado featuring Timbaland – Promiscuous
Akon featuring Eminem – Smack That
Danity Kane featuring Yung Joc – Show Stopper
Rascal Flatts – Life Is a Highway
Jamie Foxx featuring Ludacris – Unpredictable
Jay-Z – Show Me What You Got
Fall Out Boy – Dance, Dance
Yung Joc featuring Nitti – It’s Goin’ Down
Chingy featuring Tyrese – Pullin’ Me Back
Jim Jones – We Fly High
Panic at the Disco! – I Write Sins, Not Tragedies
Nelly Furtado – Say It Right
Justin Timberlake – Sexyback
Sean Paul featuring Keyshia Cole – (When You Gonna) Give It up to Me

Good to Great

Ne-Yo – Sexy Love
Ciara featuring Chamillionaire – Get Up
Rihanna – S.O.S.
Shakira featuring Wyclef Jean – Hips Don’t Lie
Ne-Yo – So Sick
Mary J. Blige – Be Without You
T.I. – What You Know
T-Pain ft. Mike Jones – I’m ‘n Luv (wit a Stripper)
Cassie – Me & U
Gnarls Barkley – Crazy
Beyoncé – Irreplaceable
Bubba Sparxxx featuring Ying Yang Twins and Mr. Collipark – Ms. New Booty
Justin Timberlake – My Love

It’s Weird Al

“Weird Al” Yankovic – White & Nerdy

‘We would talk every day for hours’

When I am dead, my dears, sing no songs for me — no sad songs. My contribution to MoPOP Pop Conference’s theme “Only You and Your Ghost Will know: Music, Death, and the Afterlife” posits the B-52’s “Deadbeat Club” as yet another of the quintet’s songs devoted to partying out of bonds, this one haunted by the ghost of Ricky Wilson. I’ve attached the PDF below. Thanks for reading.

Deadbeat Club

Ranking Billboard top ten singles, 1966

As the Stones shed their Beatles attachments and started writing their own kind of skewed pop, the rest of the musical world, drunk on Dylan, went chanteuse or garage rock — 1966 was the year of ? and the Mysterians and Count Five. The Lovin’ Spoonful, the Supremes issued a series of excellent singles. So did the Monkees.
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