Sunday, April 12, 2009

Lovers Rock In Seattle Friday April 17

Just a heads up on a free presentation and discussion that ForwardEver and Selector Shockman will be delivering at the EMP Pop Conference in Seattle.

The event is free and open to he public.

Date: Friday April 17, 2009, 9 a.m. - 10:45 a.m
Panel: Groovekeepers
Venue: Level 3 theater at EMP Museum, Seattle WA.

"Lovers Rock: Class and Romance Inna Di Dance"

In a new century that’s seen Jamaican music receive worldwide popular acceptance, Lovers Rock -- music that legendarily caused it’s slow dancing participants to “scrub off the wallpaper” at packed house dances --deserves better understanding.

British Lovers Rock and Jamaican Romantic Reggae have historically acted in contradiction to both prevailing popular themes as well as gender and class identities within the reggae diaspora. Where reggae and dancehall emphasize traditional and historical cultural modes and hyper-masculine or feminine ideals, Lovers Rock explores a vulnerable personal sphere. These subgenres have also carved out new space for emotional and carnal expressions by both men and women, as well as provided a safe space for gay artists to participate in the otherwise rigidly homophobic reggae milieu. While Jamaican Romantic Reggae has had few breakout artists, its U.K. counterpart Lovers Rock has minted platinum hits.

Thanks to pop artists like Simply Red and Sade, British Lovers Rock reggae music has achieved mainstream acceptance while conversely seeing it’s grassroots adherents remain critically and commercially underappreciated. But over its 30-year span British Lovers Rock has deeply impacted UK music culture and delineated new modes of Afro-Caribbean social and artistic identity.

Our paper will discuss the similarities and differences between British Lovers Rock and Jamaican Romantic Reggae as well as probe the class and gender consequences of both models. Additionally, we’ll discuss and scrutinize thematic and artistic representations within the songs, fashion, clubs and music industry attached to both forms.