Conference more than chatter

Atlanta's Five Eight will play Market Street Pub Saturday night as part of the University of Florida's Music Law Conference.

Published: Friday, January 30, 2004 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Thursday, January 29, 2004 at 10:49 p.m.

The Second Annual Music Law Conference takes place today and Saturday at the Reitz Union Ballroom on the University of Florida campus. The conference features a music expo both days, and a full day of panels Saturday on the relationship between law and music.

This is an opportunity to learn about a side of music people rarely consider when they first pick up an instrument. The conference costs $30 for UF students, $40 for non-students, $55 for industry professionals and $90 for attorneys.

Confirmed panelists this year include entertainment attorneys Ken Abdo, Ronald Bienstock, Ben McLane and Paul Ungar. Other panelists include Rap Coalition founder Wendy Day, USA Songwriting Competition events coordinator Eddie Phoon and Vertical Horizon drummer Ed Toth.

In addition, A&R reps for major and independent labels, producers, radio promoters, managers and songwriters also will offer advice.

The conference also will feature music demos. The two-day music expo allows bands, artists and companies to promote themselves and their products to conference attendees.

But it's not just talk. The weekend event also features two nights of band showcases at venues throughout Gainesville. Eddie C's, Market Street Pub, Faces Lounge, Shamrock, Jet Set and The Palace will participate.

The showcase is free for conference attendees. Or, for those who want to skip the conference, showcase-only wristbands can be purchased at the ballroom for $10. Option C is simply paying regular cover at each club.

Showcase artists scheduled to perform include Five Eight, Jabberwocky, Amanda Garrigues, Downpsychol, Soulfound, Intellekt, U-Phonic, Longwood, Code Sunshine and Star 69.

For a complete lineup and schedule, visit on the Web.

The Athens, Ga., band Five Eight, which is headlining Saturday at MSP, is celebrating its 15th year with a new record, "The Good Nurse."

With vocalist/guitarist Mike Mantione, drummer Mike Rizzi and bassist Dan Horowitz, Five Eight has been described as a combination of The Who, Led Zeppelin, Neil Young and Husker Du - all rolled into one.

Such a description is pretty hard to live up to, but I've seen these guys, and they do indeed rock.

  • Also Saturday night, Gainesville's own Downpsychol will rock out Eddie C's as part of the conference showcases. Downpsychol plays music in the vein of artists such as Sevendust, Alice In Chains and Black Sabbath. Members are Josh Mauldin on vocals, Joe Herchel on guitar, Adam Junkins on bass/backing vocals and Shane Estes on drums.

    Herchel says he's looking forward to being part of the conference.

    "We're four guys who love music more than anything," he says. "It's what we want to do for the rest of our lives, but it's hard because we don't have a lot of 'connections' or music industry contacts."

    The band recently released its first CD, "Trial," which can be purchased at its shows or from the group's Web site at

    "We're all very pleased with the album, and we really took our time to make sure we had every detail down stone cold before we set foot in the studio," Herchel says.

    That's all for now. See you next week.

    Contact Douglas Jordan at

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