In addition to the not-to-be-missed interview with visionary producer Joe Boyd, the conference component of this year's North By Northeast fest features tons of intriguing one-on-ones, hot debates and demystifying discussions about the secret machinations of the music biz.
Here are some highlights. Conference events are open to badge-holding delegates (limited $30 tickets are available to the public for each celebrity interview at the NXNE reception area) and take place at the Holiday Inn on King (370 King West). 416-599-4000, www.nxne.com.
NXNE TOWN HALL (Thursday, 2:30-4:30 pm, MuchMusic Headquarters, 299 Queen West)
Following the success of last year's no-holds-barred massive round table rap session, this year's Town Hall brings together the smallest little guys and the biggest high-powered suits to face off on the indie vs. major debate. Sure to be fierce and furious, the Town Hall is the only conference event not happening at the Holiday Inn.
J MASCIS CELEBRITY INTERVIEW (Friday, noon-1 pm, Regency B)
The Dinosaur Jr. main man explains why the group's reunion album doesn't suck and deflects questions about his tempestuous relationship with Lou Barlow.
WHEN I THINK OF MY MANAGER, I SEE A TRAIN HEADING INTO A TUNNEL. WHAT'S THAT MEAN? (Friday, 3:15-4:15 pm, Regency B)
Funny dude Dave Foley plays shrink-slash-moderator to artist-manager couples Peaches and Robyn Mitchell and Alex Norman (IllScarlett) and Andy Winkler . Hilarity (and touching moments) ensue.
REAL LIVE ARTISTS (Saturday, 2-3 pm, Regency C)
Polaris patriarch Steve Jordan presides over a roster of talented musicians - Paul McCartney-approved guitar rocker Jason Falkner , Broken Social Scene's Brendan Canning , Icarus Line holy terror Joe Cardamone and record-setting rapper D.O. - who let it all hang out.
DON LETTS CELEBRITY INTERVIEW (Saturday, 2-3 pm, Regency B)
DJ-slash-documentary-filmmaker Don Letts gets grilled by the man behind the definitive Canadian rock 'n' roll movie, Bruce McDonald .
ROB HALFORD CELEBRITY INTERVIEW (Saturday, 3:15-4:15 pm, Regency B)
Mega metal fan Sam Dunn (the dude who made Metal: A Headbanger's Journey) gets to ask his hero, Judas Priest's Rob Halford , every single burning question he's been dying to have answered.