Miami's 12 Bands, Producers, and Promoters Set to Take Over the Scene in 2012

With the first month of 2012 dead and gone, it's time to take a survey of up-and-coming South Florida music and maybe try to predict what the rest of the year has in store.

This is not a best-of list. Nor is it a complete appraisal of South Florida's expansive nightlife sphere and its million microscenes. There's an emphasis on acts and promoters who operate along the Biscayne Corridor because that's our back yard. We look at cutting-edge, contemporary-minded bands and bookings from folks fresh on the scene as well as a few local music veterans finally on the cusp of blowing up.

And we emphasize newness because children are the future.

Pool Party

In 2010, Jose Flores retired his massively popular Miami Bass persona, José El Rey. After spending a few years chugging cortaditos, sweatily pacing up and down Calle Ocho, and slurring every cubanismo cat call in the book, the man behind the mustache no longer knew where the character stopped and his own life began. Thus, Flores's newest project -- the raucous, righteously stupid pop-punk quartet Pool Party -- constructs a completely different kind of fantasy. Led by Creep Guirdo (guess who?), the Party's extensive and ridiculous mythology revolves around its self-described "caveman-disco-beach" image. Hey, there's a sliver of truth to every joke band.

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Toad Eyes

Bursting with the angsty youthfulness of punk rock and the outsize bombast of classic rock, Toad Eyes is three high-schoolers who love to shred. Though the wild, screaming girls in the front row must be a bonus, there's little doubt that this trio's chief motivation for rocking and rolling is they'll burst into flames if they don't.

This Heart Electric

This longtime solo project from Death to the Sun music festival curator Ricardo Guerrero used to be all about gloomy, danceable synth-pop. But recently, Guerrero switched styles, turning to breezy acoustic rock -- lo-fi garage with distantly Americana twang and a fresh tone courtesy of unplugging -- that conjures The Mekons or a smoother, less sexually frustrated Violent Femmes. Last year, Guerrero tested This Heart Electric's new sound on tour with Dino Felipe. And we're hoping 2012 marks the project's first proper release since forsaking bleeps and bloops for chilled-out r'n'r.

Luma Junger

This new-ish trio features past and present members of Biscayne Corridor regulars such as Snakehole, Dracula, and Psychic Mirrors. From song to song, LJ veers between icy post-punk, R&B-inflected New Wave, and burly psychedelia. That's why calling Luma Junger synth rock is a cop-out, even though the threesome uses a synthesizer and also rocks. The songwriting is simple, brief, and action-packed. And live, Luma Junger keeps it quick and sweaty.

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