185 capital the’s


To the nerds it’s a tech showcase. To the indie kids it’s a music and film showcase. To the hotels and restaurants of Austin it’s a money making showcase. Go SXSW!

Online distribution

One of my favorite things about the internet is the ease of distributing content. Music (for robots) recently pointed out the torrent files distributed by the SXSW folks with samples of all the showcase bands and films. I didn’t go for the trailers but did grab all 3.3gb of mp3s – 942 bands worth. Needless to say, I’m not even close to wading through the bunch or even music (for robots) list of the 79 best from the first of the two torrent files. It’s not meant as an official best of list but helps at sorting out the cruft.

The great thing is I haven’t heard of most of the bands. The bad thing is even the songs that stick out will likely be forgotten in the bunch until several months from now when someone asks if I heard of some awesome band and I reply “No” and they play a song and I say “Oh yeah, I heard that a couple months ago. I downloaded it from somewhere for some reason”. Whatevs.

The + 1

To make matters worse I have a terrible time remembering bands with one word names prefixed with “The” or variations of, e.g. “Thee”. Not only that I tend to expect a The + 1 band name to be the moniker of a band with a record of a bunch of songs that all sound the same and sounds like someone else’s song. I know, not fair. And not true in a lot of cases. Don’t worry, I still give them a try. But should I?

Of the 942 showcase bands, 185 start with The and 89 are The + 1′s. That’s about 20% and 9%, respectively. Next, how many of that 9% are good.

Music (for robots)’s list of 79 bands came from a group of 713 bands. That’s 11% of the group and I tend to trust their musical tastes. Of those 79, 6 are The + n ‘s and 4 of those have just one other word in their name – 5% of good bands are The + 1′s and 0.5% of bands are both good and The + 1′s.

The bigger pool

That leaves the bands without a leading The – 757 of them, 80% of the complete 942. Looking at just the first group and m(fr)’s list, taking out the 151 The + n ‘s leaves 562, of which 73 make the top 79 list. That makes 13% of non-The bands good, though it is picking from a much larger pool.

Bands at SXSW 2006
Name Bands Good % Good % Good of Total
All 713 79 11% 11%
Non The 562 73 13% 10%
The + n 151 6 4% .8%
The + 1 69 4 6% .5%

Not that this is any sort of definitive guide, but two pointless points: Remove The + n bands and of the resulting group you are more likely to randomly choose a good band. However, you are more likely to pick a good band from a group of The + 1 bands than from a group of The + n where n is greater than 1. My next band will have a name of the The + n form. Maybe this should be applied to the Woxy list.

Of interest. Browsing through the list for the bands I recognize, the best song among them comes from The Living End. My favorite (or maybe just the one I happen to remember and happened to be in the mood for) new song of what I have heard so far comes from Carmen Rizzo. A The + n band and a non The band. What about solo names?

Note: I make no claim to the validity of the math or reasoning of this post.


  1. majafa 20060310


  2. jbucki 20060310

    i think my broad listens to that living end band. maybe i’ll actually give them a listen next time. i just figured it was dumb girl music, but the panther would never listen to dumb girl music. would he???

  3. majafa 20060310

    the first living end album is the best.

  4. matches 20060311

    I have the Living End by the Living End. I don’t know where that falls in the chronology but it’s a good album.

    PDF, I’m thinking maybe I’ll just take your last line and make it a blanket statement for everything I say or write, ever.

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