While the panel discussions, round tables and workshops of the NXNE Music Conference are still largely industry-oriented, there are several interesting events for those not embedded in the music biz.Keynote speeches by country rocker and activist Steve Earle and professional punk John Lydon should prove entertaining for entirely different reasons. Earle is the subject of a documentary film on the uproar surrounding his song John Walker's Blues. Former Sex Pistol Lydon, meanwhile, has made a living out of his increasingly shrill whining about everything from contemporary pop culture to his native Britain.
Surprisingly low on the conference agenda is the battle between labels and the Web, although Saturday's Death Of The CD panel should touch on the showdown between conventional record labels and the digital music world.
A topic curiously given a higher profile is the increasingly influential role of music placement in video games. Video game junkies can check out a keynote talk by Steve Schnur, the guy who helped create the hiphop/ wrestling mash-up Def Jam Vendetta.
And letter writers who complain that music scribes were either at a different concert or have their own agendas can get revenge in person at Saturday's music journalist panel, featuring writers from Toronto's weekly and daily newspapers. Finally, your chance to ask why no one gave that new Our Lady Peace record a good review.