This year's SoundLand trades conventional conferences for "field trip" sessions 



Let's just say it up front and honest-like: Conferences kinda blow. Uncomfortable seats, awkward conversations, cold weak coffee, fluorescent lights and high-traffic carpet in a place where nobody would ever hang out if not for professional obligations. Yes, useful information is useful, but how useful is it if you're nodding off in an uncomfortable auditorium seat? Everyone knows that PowerPoint presentations are a natural sedative, and if we learned anything in our nine-and-a-half years of college, it's that sitting in those auditorium-chair-desk things is a great cure for insomnia.

And the SoundLand-ers know this! This year's fest finds the industry-info sessions breaking free from the staid professional shtick, hittin' the road and crisscrossing the city on a rock 'n' roll adventure. Thursday, the whole crew will head over to The Belcourt for a case study with breakout folk duo The Civil Wars (1 p.m.) and music streaming upstarts Grooveshark (2 p.m.), then over to the Grammy House to shoot the shit with industry attorneys Loeb & Loeb, and then up the street and around the corner to the SoundLand Registration House (at 501 Eighth Ave. S.) for low-key chats with The Low Anthem (3 p.m.) and Justin Townes Earle (4 p.m.). Friday we start at CRAFT Studio (noon), then head back to The Belcourt (1 p.m.) — which reminds us, does anyone know if the bar is going to be open? — for discussions on music supervision and A&R. Finally it's over to the Gibson Guitar Showroom (3 p.m.) for convos on that fancy new digital music the kids are all talking about these days.

So yeah, that totally beats sitting in the same place all day. For a full schedule and more details, visit SoundLand's website (



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