Oh, hell yes. This is a real thing, and it will be amazing.
“It’s Still Rock and Roll to Me” is a scholarly symposium on the music and lyrics of Billy Joel, the consummate singer-songwriter whose compositions translate larger cultural concerns into accessible and compelling musical narratives. In the spirit of Joel’s music, this public musicology conference aims to share academically oriented insights on this popular figure and his output in an accessible and approachable manner.
They’re taking proposals right now for “20-minute presentations of research on any aspect of Joel’s artistic oeuvre.” And what an oeuvre it is! I’ve narrowed my topics down to the list below.
* It’s No Longer Rock & Roll To Me: Exploring The Weird Coincidence Of How New Pop Music Got Really Terrible Right After I Turned 35
* Movin’ Back In: Surveying The Millennial Job Market
* She’s Usually A Woman: It Turns Out I Don’t Understand How To Use Tinder At All
* Scenes From An Italian Chain Restaurant: A Deep Dive Into Olive Garden Menu Semiotics
* Storm Front: Why Did No One Suggest To Billy Joel That He Not Call An Album That
* I Sang “Goodnight, Saigon” In A Limo With A Half-Dozen Dudes Who Weren’t Even Drunk Yet On Our Way To The 2011 Oakland A’s Home Opener And It Was Unexpectedly Awesome: A Memoir
* Okay, Fine, We Started The Fire: A Confession Regarding That Long Island Arthur Treacher’s That Burned Down Like 20 Years Ago
* I Go To Extremes: Bloggin’ For Gawker Media In The Year Of Our Lord 2015
* Get It Right The Fourth Time: Billy Joel Marriage Tips
* Did You Know That Christie Brinkley Is Dating John Mellencamp: I Didn’t Until This Morning
* What The Fuck Is The Drummer Doing In The “Big Shot” Video
* Don’t Tell Her About It: Advice For Your Bachelor Party
* Bottle Of Red, Bottle Of White: A Taxonomy Of All The Shit In Billy Joel’s Glove Compartment
* The Bad Also Occasionally Die Young: Every Joke I Considered For This One Was Too Mean
* “Pressure” Is The Best Billy Joel Song: If I Drink Two Or Three IPAs I Will Unironically Argue This
* The Longest Time: Theories On Why You Would Agree To Accompany Your Boyfriend Of 15 Years To A Weekend-Long Academic Conference About Billy Joel
h/t Patrick Redford, who suggested the only remotely funny one.