Jonathan Lethem, whose writing prominently features music, is the keynote speaker at the 2007 Pop Conference. (See the review of Lethem's...

Jonathan Lethem, whose writing prominently features music, is the keynote speaker at the 2007 Pop Conference. (See the review of Lethem’s “You Don’t Love Me Yet” on Page 37.)

Free this year, the conference takes as its theme “Waking Up From History: Music, Time and Place.” A brainy but giddy gathering of scholars, journalists and music nerds, the conference vibe ranges from over-analyzed academic (“Anticipating the Re-Emergence of the Pre-Temperate Aboriginal Drone Form as the Root and Dominant Figure in Rock Music”) to extreme trivia (“The Secret History of Montana Postpunk”), with some chewy sections in between. (See the story by music critic Patrick MacDonald in Sunday’s Entertainment & the Arts section). The confab opens with a reception at 5 p.m. Thursday and runs through 12:45 p.m. next Sunday at Experience Music Project, 325 Fifth Ave. N., Seattle (free; 206-367-5483 or www.emplive.org). Register in advance (advised) by e-mailing education@emplive.org.

— Paul de Barros, Seattle Times arts critic