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At the 2012 festival, Skrillex earned raves from indie blogs, amazed that the dubstep phenom could actually throw a good party. Baauer, the 23-year-old NYC-based producer responsible for the Internet scourge “Harlem Shake,” could be the bass-obsessed DJ winning over audiences this year.—Andrew Frisicano
With Sonic Youth on hiatus, singer-guitarist Thurston Moore is sowing his wild oats with this new four-piece, whose self-titled debut arrived last week on Matador. Unlike 2001’s smoothed-out solo joint, Demolished Thoughts, Chelsea Light Moving specializes in weighty crunch and bratty punk—and in Moore’s capable hands, that’s plenty.—Steve Smith
The cross-eyed collision of hip-hop and psychedelia finds its latest wobbly form in Brooklyn’s LSD-chomping Flatbush Zombies, a duo comprising MCs Zombie Juice and Meechy Darko (whose look has been likened to a Jamaican Bart Simpson). Expect to be entertained, alarmed and very undead at these live shows.—Sophie Harris
Drummer Greg Fox helped avant-black-metal band Liturgy whip up a formidable buzz at SXSW 2011. At the 2013 edition, he’ll man the kit for a very different group: the ecstatic psych-rock crew Guardian Alien. Prepare for blissed-out blastbeats galore.—Hank Shteamer
Fans of Yeah Yeah Yeahs, take note: There’s more than a bit of Karen O’s manic, wild-eyed delivery in singer Isabel Almeida. (Bonus fact: YYYs’ Nick Zinner produced songs on Hunters’ 2011 EP.) Catch their gnarled postpunk at the fest, before the group’s debut full-length drops later this year.—Andrew Frisicano
Since releasing last summer’s Light Up Gold, an addictive 15-track dose of punk-meets-slacker-rock, this Brooklyn quartet has created a noticeable buzz. Despite deadpan vocals about twentysomething malaise (typical title: “Stoned and Starving”), these guys’ tight, sharply constructed tunes come off as anything but lazy.—Tim Lowery
At this point in her SXSW career, Marnie Stern is practically a grizzled vet, having first played the Austin megafest back in ’07. Expect the spotlight to be back on the Upper East Side–repping prog-pop visionary this year, as she returns to support fourth LP The Chronicles of Marnia.—Hank Shteamer
First: the charming album. Second: the clever and charming album. Third: Well, we don’t know what’s going to be on the Vamps’ forthcoming third album! That’s why we’re excited to see them play this show in advance of their NYC shows (which we predict will be a four-month sold-out run at the Barclays Center).—Sophie Harris
Six years is an eternity in our ADD indie-rock culture, but that’s how long it took big-bearded troubadour Michael Gerner to resurrect VietNam, which released sophomore LP an A.merican D.ream on Mexican Summer last month. What’s changed? Luckily, not much: VietNam still cooks up a smoky mix of reverb-drenched guitar, rollicking buildups and Gerner’s motormouth vocal stylings.—Tim Lowery
After a four-year wait, the Yeah Yeah Yeahs—No. 5 on our list of top New York City acts—play SXSW in advance of Mosquito, out April 16. A press release promises appearances by James Murphy and Kool Keith, plus lo-fi and tripped-out effects; after hearing the gospel-enhanced stunner “Sacrilege,” we’re on board for wherever these art-punks want to take us.—Marley Lynch
Root for Vampire Weekend, Marnie Stern and other local acts at the big Texas music-industry bash.
For on-the-scene reports and more exclusive content from SXSW Music, watch our website March 12–17.RECOMMENDED: All SXSW coverage
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