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Friday, March 04, 2011 

Conference (and other) notes



So, one of the many things that's made this post a bit overdue was the 2011 EMP Pop Conference; the tenth year of the conference, the first one in LA, and my first trip to California. The normal logistical difficulties in getting around LA (especially while drinking) notwithstanding, it was an incredible time. On top of being a chance to catch up with some Stylus people, I got more heavily drawn into the actual conference than I'd expected to be; the papers were generally great, and the people I didn't already know were fantastic. Probably my favourite paper of the weekend was by my friend Theon, which he's posted here; even if you don't know him, though, it's a great paper (Jeff Weiss and Tal Rosenberg were the other friends of mine who presented, and their Wu-Tang paper was great as well, although as far as I know not posted online right now).

There's even photographic proof of my presence; I'm directly behind a guy in a light grey hoodie, talking to Theon who's in a red shirt and brown jacket. One doesn't want to drop names, both because it's gauche and because it's not like anyone not already a music criticism wonk is going to care, but I got to meet and hang out with a couple of heroes of mine, and it was lovely. Ridiculously good food, too, especially here and here (the latter might be the single best place I've ever eaten in my life, and I will be forever greatful to my friend John Cunningham for taking me there).

And that of course leads nicely into this post, which I found fascinating. The gist? "When music writers grow up, they become food writers." God knows I'm almost more interested in dropping a significant amount of money into a really sublime meal than a collector's edition CD these days (a big part of the shift, which Tewksbury doesn't really cover, is that collecting physical things wears on most of us as our collection swells; the memory of a great meal doesn't take up any space, though, except maybe a bit of waistline).

I can't be the only one who finds these movie barcodes fascinating, can I? I mean, it's no Sheen and Swanson, but what is?

Futility Closet is, if not quite my new favourite blog, my favourite new blog; and I was introduced to it via this post, which is pretty much amazing. Especially when you go here for more context. Tell me you don't find telegraphs and the word "hooray" a little creepy now...

I'm sure you've all read it already, so this link is more for discussion: Wasn't that marathon New Yorker article about Paul Haggis and Scientology awesome? It's almost enough for me to forgive him for Crash.

Lastly, a while back I called Emily Carroll's His Face All Red "one of the absolute best web comics I've seen recently." So you can imagine that I was enthused to stumble on her blog, especially when she posts stuff like this.

So that's what you look like.

I read that Scientology piece, too. What a scam.

One small part of me, yep! I was going to say that there are better pictures of me out there, but I guess that's just Facebook.

Scientology has been making my blood boil regularly since the late 90s or so.

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About me

Ian Mathers is a freelance writer whose work has appeared in Stylus, the Village Voice, Resident Advisor, PopMatters, and elsewhere. He does stuff and it magically appears here.

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imathers at gmail dot com

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