Vampires, REM Win Austin Buzz

Emerging acts jostle with old timers for exposure
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 15, 2008 5:31 PM CDT

(Newser) – At least one "buzz band" has emerged in South by Southwest, a music festival that is increasingly dominated by big-name artists: world-beat pop quartet Vampire Weekend. Still hot from a Saturday Night Live appearance last weekend, the Columbia University band has wowed Austin with its clean, poppy sound, the Buffalo News reports.

Other up-and-comers worthy of a CD spin include psychedelic rockers MGMT, Zoe Deschanel’s She & Him, and Chicago rapper Kid Sister. Among old-timers, REM made the biggest splash and recovered "a measure of former glories," Jim DeRogatis blogs in the Chicago Sun-Times. But the band members seemed disconnected, he reports: They "may be enjoying playing with each other again. But the jury is still out on whether or not they like each other any more."