The 2021 Pop Convergence: A Virtual Pop Conference, April 22-25th
Artwork by Alex Nero; Design by The Art Dictator
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 multicultural bands, selling over 20 million records, with all four of their studio albums going single-triple platinum. Rage’s success proved: you could challenge authority and still live to have others hear your message.

In this presentation, I’ll discuss Rage Against the Machine, The Downtown Boys, Algiers, and the multicultural bands who “took the power back” and created concrete social change through their music. I will feature interviews and insights I learned from writing my book: Why Rage Against the Machine Matters, and look at the ways rage can positively transform and impact culture.

Michelle Threadgould is a Chicana journalist and poet. Her work has been featured in CNN, KQED, New York Observer and Latino USA. Seven of her essays were in the music bible Women Who Rock, parts of her poetry collection, Broken Borders have appeared in the Chachalaca Review and the Harpy Hybrid Review, and her debut book Why Rage Against the Machine Matters is slated to be released in 2022 by University of Texas Press.