March 9, 2012 at 7:40 pm

Is SXSW Music Mainstream? Twitter Seems to Think So

the monstro sxsw skrillexAUSTIN, TEXAS — We were delighted to receive word about The Monstro’s new SXSW chart, which “provides attendees with instant, up-to-date information about the artists and music events that are trending at any given moment, the schedule and venues of music acts, which can be sorted by genre.” At a festival like this, it often feels like the hottest act in town is playing somewhere else than wherever you are, just because there’s so much going on.

Data analytics to the rescue!

Not only do The Monstro’s SXSW charts let you see which bands are trending, figure out where and when they’re playing, and filter them by venue or genre, but you can listen to these bands for free via Rdio to get an idea of what they sound like before you hatch your plan.

So, what does this all-seeing chart see in our future? A whole lot of Skrillex.

There’s also a healthy mix of other chart-toppers like Norah Jones, Train, Wale, and T.I. Here’s the full breakdown of what is super hot at SXSW Music, according to The Monstro’s Twitter-mining technology, as of Friday evening:

SXSW Trending:  Skrillex, John Mayer, Train, B.o.B., Wale, T.I., Norah Jones, Keane, Andrew Bird, Band of Skulls

SXSW Daily: Skrillex, John Mayer, Wale, Train, Andrew Bird, Norah Jones, Kasabian, Flux Pavilion, Keane, Nas

SXSW SXSW (we don’t get this name either): Skrillex, John Mayer, Train, Wale, Norah Jones, Grimes, Ed Sheeran, Flux Pavilion, T.I., Kasabian

See what we mean? This might as well be the Billboard chart, not a gauge of the buzziest bands at the up-and-coming bands’ mecca that is SXSW.

Perhaps we shouldn’t be surprised at the mainstream nature of these artists, given that charts are supposed to gauge popularity, and if these artists are anything, they are popular. Even so, it’s nonetheless amazing that so many incredibly popular artists are playing SXSW at all, given its reputation, deserved or not, as a place where small indie bands stand a chance of breaking out — if not becoming the next “Twitter,” than at least getting the chance to quit their day jobs.

That said, SXSW Music proper has yet to begin — so far, it’s just us Interactive and Film nerds down here. Perhaps the next Pitchfork favorites are still lurking out there somewhere, ready to pounce on our collective imagination. We sure hope so, because we didn’t come here to listen to Skrillex.