MoPOP (aka EMP) Pop Conference 2018

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Acceptances are going out today -- anyone in?

I'm in, courtesy of the weird side of YouTube.

sick, fucking funny, and well tasty (katherine), Monday, 18 December 2017 16:50 (one year ago) Permalink

Yup, in with this presentation on Billy Mackenzie

Ned Raggett, Monday, 18 December 2017 17:08 (one year ago) Permalink

i would love to go but i didn't submit anything and can never afford it. glad a bunch of ppl i know got in

flamenco drop (BradNelson), Monday, 18 December 2017 17:18 (one year ago) Permalink

I'm in!

morning wood truancy (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Monday, 18 December 2017 17:27 (one year ago) Permalink

That's really neat, Ned. Will it be streamed/taped for all to see?

♫ very clever with maracas.jpg ♫ (Le Bateau Ivre), Monday, 18 December 2017 17:32 (one year ago) Permalink

Yeah my plan is to do what I did with the 2010 one and get it recorded directly with a friend's help. Though since there will be some sort of visual/audio element I may do what Tom Ewing does and record/upload a version of it separate from the actual presentation itself. We'll see!

Ned Raggett, Monday, 18 December 2017 18:32 (one year ago) Permalink

I'm in, too.

glenn mcdonald, Monday, 18 December 2017 21:40 (one year ago) Permalink

four months pass...

Anybody’s presentations online? How’s it going?

curmudgeon, Friday, 27 April 2018 15:23 (one year ago) Permalink


morning wood truancy (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Friday, 27 April 2018 15:24 (one year ago) Permalink

Panel with Ali Colleen, Allen Thayer,Erin MacLeod & Xavier Livermon discussing “Gender Pop and Power in the Global South.” Sounds good. Thayer is gonna talk about “Black Power and Masculinity in Brazilian Soul and Funk music.”

curmudgeon, Friday, 27 April 2018 15:36 (one year ago) Permalink

I put a version of my talk up here:

glenn mcdonald, Saturday, 28 April 2018 00:46 (one year ago) Permalink

How's it going?

well uh it will go a lot better after 5:45 tomorrow, when I become a person again and not a mobile sphere of anxiety

aloha darkness my old friend (katherine), Saturday, 28 April 2018 01:17 (one year ago) Permalink

(apologies for that, anyone who may have run into me at any point; a museumgoer not here for the conference mentioned to me that "you look tense" and you have no idea)

aloha darkness my old friend (katherine), Saturday, 28 April 2018 01:18 (one year ago) Permalink

Read some tweets about this but wish more presentations were online. Of course, back a few years when I presented in New Orleans (the year they had multiple sites) I never put mine online

curmudgeon, Sunday, 29 April 2018 19:32 (one year ago) Permalink

I've uploaded mine to my blog.

morning wood truancy (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Sunday, 29 April 2018 19:40 (one year ago) Permalink

My presentation is online as well; slide notes *should* be visible. (A lot is covered in the notes that I didn't get to during my presentation.)

aloha darkness my old friend (katherine), Monday, 30 April 2018 14:19 (one year ago) Permalink

oh that's great – I regret I couldn't get to yours.

morning wood truancy (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Monday, 30 April 2018 14:20 (one year ago) Permalink

(I have corrected the very important bit of information that Willa Ford dated Nick, not AJ. If this were 2000 I'd have like 50 angry instant messages)

aloha darkness my old friend (katherine), Monday, 30 April 2018 17:12 (one year ago) Permalink

one month passes...

Here's Liz Pelly's presentation about sexism presented through algorithmic delivery on Spotify:

we used to get our kicks reading surfing MAGAzines (sic), Monday, 4 June 2018 21:07 (one year ago) Permalink

Oh yeah, speaking of which, here was my presentation:

Ned Raggett, Monday, 4 June 2018 22:02 (one year ago) Permalink

To go with Liz' piece, I added a tl;dr summary of the actual gender-patterns in Spotify listening here:

(Spotify editorial programming actually has better gender-balance than overall or self-directed Spotify listening. But obviously it's catchier to blame a few Spotify editors, rather than all the listeners in the world.)

glenn mcdonald, Tuesday, 5 June 2018 15:35 (one year ago) Permalink

Glenn's own talk being b2b with Liz at the conference was v good and entertaining programming.

we used to get our kicks reading surfing MAGAzines (sic), Tuesday, 5 June 2018 19:59 (one year ago) Permalink

X-post- Pelly was highlighting the flaws of the most popular Spotify playlists, although averaging all playlists and looking at consumers has value as well.

curmudgeon, Wednesday, 6 June 2018 12:29 (one year ago) Permalink

Except without any baseline other than an implied 50%, her numbers have no context. I don't think anybody believes that the music business is anywhere near gender-balanced. Female artists get only 20% of the streams on Spotify, overall. Liz was only counting artists, not streams, but by her numbers Today's Top Hits, New Music Friday and Viva Latino all had more than that. Rap Caviar, Rock This and Hot Country had less, but my published tables include this one broken down by genre:

in which you can see that the overall female-artist streamrates for the popular hip-hop forms range from 1% to 5%. So Liz's observed 8% on Rap Caviar is technically progressive, not regressive.

"modern rock" and "alternative rock" hover around 13-15%, and Liz found Rock This had 14% female or mixed-gender artists, so that's merely on par. Country is 5-11% female by streams, and she found 8% on Hot Country.

So she claims to be doing a data-based study, but data does not support her conclusions or disdain.

(Of course, both her conclusions and her disdain were established in her previous pieces about Spotify.)

glenn mcdonald, Wednesday, 6 June 2018 13:45 (one year ago) Permalink

Except for the stuff in her talk about the Smirnoff Equalizer, which I fully agree was a terrible idea. Spotify didn't do it, and I'm embarrassed on our behalf that it was done with our corporate endorsement, but its flaws (both moral and technical) have literally nothing to do with anything within Spotify itself, or with any work done by Spotify employees.

glenn mcdonald, Wednesday, 6 June 2018 13:48 (one year ago) Permalink

I mean, all of this is just grappling with the fact that that across all platforms and all media, the majority of people do not want to listen to (or read, etc.) women more than occasionally, and most editorial programming is actively working against what people want. which is of course massively depressing, even if you think that said editorial programming works to change people's listening habits and isn't just the equivalent of secretly blending kale into chocolate ice cream.

I said this at the talk but I mostly wonder about the reverse -- whether, seeded with non-men, recommendations continue to suggest them, or regress toward the mean. if there really is a bias, it would work the opposite way as well. and then there's also the question of whether that's even a good thing -- one of the more common complaints about music writing is female artists compared to other female artists, which is an analog version of the same thing. (for what it's worth, I have always hated that argument; the way to fix it is to not stop mentioning female artists, which is stupid, but to compare male artists to them)

aloha darkness my old friend (katherine), Wednesday, 6 June 2018 14:33 (one year ago) Permalink

So, I was poking at more versions of this question yesterday, in Spotify data, and one of the things I calculated was the number of female Related Artists we show for each artist, aggregated by source-artist gender. This isn't an independent variable, because Related Artists are calculated from (mostly) listening patterns, but it gets at this specific question you're asking better than the other aggregates.

I found that female artists, on average had 50% female related artists, and the distribution (from 0-20) was basically flat from 0-10 and then slowly declining as you get towards 20.

But for male artists, the average was 3 female related artists (out of 20), and the distribution looked like a textbook power-law: tons of male artists with 0 female related artists, declining precipitously.

I don't actually believe that "the majority of people do not want to listen to women more than occasionally", although I agree there's plenty of empirical support for that contention. I think it's slightly more insidious than that: the inexorable inertia of ingrained normative maleness. Women make great music, but so do men, and if you're getting a stream of music you like, you're not actively prompted to think about what else you're missing but might like just as well.

Which was the point of the playlist series I made for my PopCon talk (click the genre links here: to try to algorithmically produce genre-by-genre "normal listening" playlists that work without any caveats, but which just happen to consist entirely of female or mixed-gender artists. It doesn't work uniformly well, because the distribution of artist-genders by genre isn't uniform or independent, either. But it's interesting, I think.

glenn mcdonald, Wednesday, 6 June 2018 15:25 (one year ago) Permalink

skip/like/dislike rate would possibly be telling in one direction or another there (this looks at skips by men vs. women, but not *of* men/women

aloha darkness my old friend (katherine), Wednesday, 6 June 2018 19:08 (one year ago) Permalink

Ned's presentation has me wanting to go back and listen to old Associates records.

curmudgeon, Thursday, 7 June 2018 13:17 (one year ago) Permalink

ten months pass...

Where’s the 2019 thread? How was it? Tweets looked interesting

curmudgeon, Monday, 15 April 2019 05:03 (two months ago) Permalink


recriminations from the nitpicking woke (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Monday, 15 April 2019 05:10 (two months ago) Permalink

My presentation:

Ned Raggett, Monday, 15 April 2019 05:16 (two months ago) Permalink

Dramatic Soto #PopCon

— Ariane Grand Marnier (@awardtour) April 14, 2019

blokes you can't rust (sic), Monday, 15 April 2019 07:59 (two months ago) Permalink

Thanks. Anybody see the DC go-go presentation or the controversial I think one that criticized riot grrl as racist and classist

curmudgeon, Monday, 15 April 2019 17:20 (two months ago) Permalink

posts very much in character

recriminations from the nitpicking woke (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Monday, 15 April 2019 17:26 (two months ago) Permalink

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