Trend Spotting at SXSW: Your Musical Crystal Ball

With more than 1,400 musical acts officially strutting their rock 'n' roll stuff in Austin this week -- and hundreds more in town just to play for the crowds who are already there -- music fans looking to South by Southwest for the "next big thing" could be easily overwhelmed.

ABC News asked a few experts to wade through the refuse.

Nic Harcourt, Tastemaker

Claim to Fame: Host of KCRW's "Morning Becomes Eclectic"
Band to Do List: Birdmonster ("a really good band"); Langhorne Slim; The Watson Twins; Tom Brosseau; Robbers on High Street; Dengue Fever ("An L.A. pop band with a Cambodian singer … really different, really unique"); Amy Winehouse ("Huge buzz on this girl … We're going to try and get her on the show."); What Made Milwaukee Famous; Eastern Conference Champions; Ane Brun; Polyphonic Spree; Simon Dawes; Amy Millan (of Stars); Alexi Murdoch; Jets Overhead

Kevin Calaba, Indie Rocker

Occupation: Vocals, guitar and keyboards for Oregon indie rockers Stars of Track and Field

Veteran or Virgin? Two-year veteran

Claim to Fame: Playing five shows this year. Or nine. (He's not really sure, but it's a lot.)

Band to Do List: Spoon; Seawolf; Nordic Night; "Who knows? I might not be able to see anything."

SXSW Is: A zoo.

Amy Schroeder, Critic

Claim to Fame: Editor and founder of Venus Zine, a music magazine that focuses on women

SXSW Is: Like Mardi Gras, but without people flashing themselves

Band to Do List: Matt and Kim; The Watson Twins; The Buzzcocks ; The Stooges; Lee "Scratch" Perry; Aesop Rock; Lily Allen; Asobi Seksu; Aziz Ansari (comedian); Jello Biafra (spoken word); The Bird and the Bee; Blonde Redhead; Bonde do Role; Vashti Bunyan; Catfish Haven; Cold War Kids; The Gossip; Albert Hammond Jr.; Kid Sister; Macromantics

Jordan Jeffares, Tour-Weary Bandmate

Occupation: Guitarist, keyboardist and vocalist for Atlanta's Snowden

Claim to Fame: Snowden is playing at least seven shows in four days.

SXSW Is: Like spring break for music people.

Band to Do List: Beachhouse from Baltimore ("I'm dying to see them."); Deerhunter ("Our hometown heroes"); Black Lips; Peter, Bjorn and John; Someone Still Loves You Boris Yeltsin ("Like baby Wilco"); Of Montreal; Black Angels

Craig Thibaudeau, Austin Local

Occupation: Production manager at a sign company

Claim to Fame: Waited in line for wristbands for four hours

Veteran or Virgin? Three-year veteran

Band to Do List: Donovan; The Antibalas; Lucero; Glossary

SXSW Discovery: Gogol Bordello in 2005

Michael Showalter, Comedian

Claim to Fame: The show "The State," the movie "Stella," the comedy troupe Baxter and witticisms unavailable on network television.

Veteran or Virgin? Virgin

Band to Do List: Amy Winehouse. "She's like Shirley Bassey for the 21st century."

Amrit Singh, Blogger

Claim to Fame: One of the two brains behind music blog Stereogum.com

Band to Do List: New Violators ("urgent, epic New Wave and [with] a Moz-in-the-making frontman, Per Borten."); The Twilight Sad ("grand, postmodern anthem rock"); Slaraffenland ("For fans of cinematic Scandinavian rock and candlelit make-out sessions.")

Rob Duffy, Ohio Writer

Claim to Fame: Writes four-year-old Ohio-based music blog Donewaiting.com.

Veteran or Virgin? Four-year veteran

Band to Do List: Jesse Sykes; Amy Winehouse; Land of Talk; Dirty on Purpose.

Best SXSW Performance: The Flaming Lips (2005); Nada Surf (2004)

Tim Krings, Super Fan

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