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Have you heard of this Miami Rocks, Too! thing? Bunch of bands showcase for the music industry's big boys (and girls?). This year the East Coast Music Forum has been added - seminars, workshops, exhibitions. Famed producer Tom Dowd provides the keynote; he's had a hand in some of the huger albums of all time, many cut at Criteria. Among the seminars are The Producers (how to cut a killer demo, et cetera), Band 101/Artist Development (How to Get Out of the Garage), The Lawyers (!), The Managers (Why They're Worth the Percentage), and Exposing Yourself (hosted by Pee-wee Herman). The list of featured panelists is impressive, some major movers and shakers, although Joe Galdo's probably the only one you've heard of. Trust me. The bands already selected for the main showcases at Button South are Circus, Factory Black, F.O.C., the Funk, the Itch, Marilyn Manson and the Spooky Kids, Farrcry, Quit, Staircase Creepers (formerly the Catherine Wheel), and Wetflower. Fo' mo' info, call 783-2124 or write to 750 E. Sample Road, Suite 209, Pompano Beach, FL 33064.

You have, I hope, given some thought to the Tampa area rock scene, what Miami can learn from it, how the two Florida cities could help each other. After Miami Rocks, Tampa does likewise with their big industry showcase, the Southeastern Music Conference (February 21-23). You get the seminars, workshops, biz studs on the schmooze. Some 60 bands will play live in four venues. Among the performers are some you should know and love - Little Nicky and the Slicks, the Holy Terrors, Amboog-a-lard, Factory Black, Genitorturers, Quit, Marilyn Manson and the Spooky Kids, Mary Karlzen, the Headlights.... For info, call 813-989-1472 or write Box 291856, Tampa, FL 33687-1856.

To do now: Rooster Head ignites 1992 tonight (Wednesday) at Squeeze. Three Mavericks (Bobby Reynolds, Raul Malo, Paul Deakin) and three friends (fiddler Debbie Spring, guitar god Sturges Nikitas, and keyboardist Roger White of Rimfire) jam Friday at the Island Club. Robert Wuagneux is slated for Don Webb's Expressions on WLRN-TV (Channel 17) on January 7.

Apart from this week's Rhythm Intensive, the biggest project for Jim and Laura Quinlan has been born and named Christina. Congrats.

And a big, hectic, happy one-year anniversary as host of WSHE-FM's Rock and Roll Breakfast morning show to Paul Castronovo.

Butthorn of the week: W. Axl Rose, who's just the Big Damn Girl I thought he was. He sings about how rock critics are all talk, and turns out that when I call him on it and challenge him to take it to the mat, he wusses out. In fact his only defense comes from a seventeen-year-old student named Dania, who has more guts in her little finger than Mr. Pose has in his whole bod. "Who the hell do you think you are, ragging on Axl like that?" she rages. "If you do it one more time, you're gonna have to talk with me, buddy, okay? What is it with you and Axl? Why don't you leave him alone? If you read some of his other lyrics, you see a totally different side. He's a beautiful person. But he's cornered, everybody has him in this hole and he can't get out of it." Well put, ma'am. But the guy has to have teen-age girls fight his battles?

The media circus: The hype for Barry Manilow's Showstoppers album includes a mailing from Arista of a review in Spin. Apparently Arista is very excited about this short review. I'm just very confused. Clarity is all, and clarity has nothing to do with this. Or maybe I'm just slow. Is this a rave or a slam? Please, you tell me. Here it is, verbatim and unabridged: "Don't call it a comeback! The big BM drops science here to pumpin' beats that'll be poundin' from every Jeep, Beemer, and Benzi this winter. Well, maybe not, but this homeboy from Brooklyn does give his regards to Broadway with a slammin' tribute. On `Overture of Overtures' he breaks from Evita into Jesus Christ Superstar, then kicks into a steamy Latin jam. Word to your mother's generation." So what the heck's a Benzi?

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