The 2021 Pop Convergence: A Virtual Pop Conference, April 22-25th
Artwork by Alex Nero; Design by The Art Dictator
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Friday, April 23 • 10:00am - 11:15am
Hope in Darkness: Music That Reclaimed Our Joy (Room B: Oscillator)

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Hope in Darkness: Music That Reclaimed Our Joy (Room B: Oscillator)

Every revolution has its soundtrack. Sometimes, resistance starts in a voting line, while dancing the “Cha Cha Slide.” Other times, it looks like defying a tyrant by staying at home, singing “WAP” so loudly, your neighbors want to hit that little dangly thing in the back of your throat. In this panel, journalists, educators, and musicians will explore the music that helped us reclaim our joy during a backdrop of death and destruction. We’ll discuss bands who taught us to take our power back, like Rage Against the Machine; the role Calypsos and Soca songs played in the attainment of human rights across the Caribbean; the transformative power of the poetry of artists like Hozier in song; and the musicians behind inspiring videos and TikTok challenges who gave us something to dance about. Our panelists will speak to the question: what can we learn from the music that changed the world?

The paper order will be: Threadgould, Schou, Sylvester, and Lynn.

avatar for Chris Molanphy

Chris Molanphy

Chart Columnist/Pop Critic, Slate/Hit Parade
Chris Molanphy is a chart analyst and pop critic who writes about the intersection of culture and commerce in popular music. For Slate, he hosts the Hit Parade podcast and writes their “Why Is This Song No. 1?” series. His work has also appeared in Rolling StonePitchf... Read More →

avatar for Meagan Sylvester

Meagan Sylvester

What is the role that pop music plays in social change, especially during moments of disruption, transition and upheaval?Popular music has had a relationship with the attainment of human rights as social challenges in myriad ways which have been inclusive of: the right to demonstrate... Read More →
avatar for Michelle Villegas Threadgould

Michelle Villegas Threadgould

Rage Against the Machine brought radical politics to the suburbs. They were the soundtrack to the WTO protests, Iraq and Afghanistan War protests, Occupy, and international solidarity movements. Rage broke musical barriers as one of the most commercially successful, political, and... Read More →
avatar for Solvej Schou

Solvej Schou

BODY-ODY-ODY: The joy of video and viral dance challenges in the age of COVID-19 In mid-March 2020, as my doctor told me by phone to consider the symptoms I had as COVID-19 and to socially distance at home for weeks from my husband, I sought solace in the animated music video just... Read More →
avatar for Lynn Brown

Lynn Brown

Attendee, Literary Lynn LLC
Spoken/Written/Sung – Poetry, Lyrics and the Joy of Truth SpeakingEveryone has a song they belt out at the top of their lungs whenever they hear it, and yet often we’re only vaguely aware of exactly what it is that we’re singing. Other times words set to music can evoke deep... Read More →

Friday April 23, 2021 10:00am - 11:15am PDT
Room B: Oscillator