Of all the superstar-filled music festivals to appear out of nowhere in the second half of the 2000s, EMP is in some ways the most exciting. What separates this four-day event from the All Points Wests and Electric Zoos of the world? For starters, its big draws aren’t Jay-Z and David Guetta but rather critics Greg Tate and Robert Christgau, and those much-overrated 20-minute sets are replaced by papers on everything from the conception of the city in contemporary country music to the experience of queer metal fans and a keynote address in which Roots drummer ?uestlove gets geeky over his favorite records.

Thursdays-Saturdays, noon. Starts: March 22. Continues through March 24, 2012

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