Monthly Archives: September 2011

Radiohead at Roseland

I usually don’t do concert reviews on here but I went to see Radiohead last night and I felt like it was something worth discussing. So I won’t be doing this sort of thing on a regular basis here but… here it goes.

So of course it was an amazing show. It was Radiohead in a 2,500 capacity theater. But the interesting thing with Radiohead is that they may be the only band I know that can do 2 hours of fantastic songs without one bad one, and I can still say I’ve seen them do better shows.

What’s crazy about them is that they have so many good songs, they can just seemingly pull them out at random from every album and it works every time. Most bands you can predict a certain amount of songs in the set—they “have to” do this track, you know they’ll end with that track, they haven’t done ______ yet so it must be coming up in the encore etc… With Radiohead you really can’t do that. You can’t even say “I will be bummed if they don’t do “X” because they have at least 20 songs that could be considered must-do epics.

But the thing is, when they are really rolling, as Colbert said this week, “Radiohead can make you completely lose your shit.” And they certainly had those moments last night. But then there are also some moments with newer songs that were like “that was a really good song,” but maybe not something that made me completely go insane and forget I was even at a show. For most bands you can’t expect an entire show like that, but with Radiohead, I have seen them play shows where EVERY song was at that level. After those shows, you walk out elated. On a higher level. Inspired. Mind blown. The last few times I’ve seen Radiohead, I didn’t quite get there. I’ve just been brought me to the point of “wow, that was a great show.” And what’s crazy is that most of the new songs are great live. Better than they are on the album.

Maybe it’s me. Maybe I am getting older and I will never feel that way at a show again. Maybe I’ve just seen Radiohead so many times that the magic has worn off a bit. Can seeing a band for the seventh time ever be as good as seeing them for the first or second time? Maybe not. And again, I’m not complaining. This was an amazing show, worth every penny, and probably will be the best show I saw all year. I guess it just says something about Radiohead when they can be better than every other band but still not top themselves.

***PS also a lot of douche bros were talking through the show and that was a huge bummer and something I may take on in comic form soon.

****Radiohead haters, please refrain from the expected hater comments. No one cares.

Last Goodbye

This comic is completely true. I mean, not the part about my tapes literally talking to me, but perhaps figuratively. I mean, I couldn’t listen to a tape if I wanted to, yet still I have plenty of them packed up in the garage. I can’t throw them out. Yes, I binged and purged, got rid of about half of them. But still, those seminal tapes, the albums of my youth, the mixtapes I listened to over and over again… how can I just throw them away?

The shame is that now I can love an album and not even know what the cover art looks like. Something is definitely lost there. Not “owning” your music anymore… it’s hard to put a finger on it, it’s easy to just chalk it all up to the ol’ “things were better in my day” thing, but still, I think there’s something to it. Something missing.

“Smells Like Teen Spirit” illustrated for MTV Hive

In honor of Nevermind’s 20th anniversary, I recently illustrated “Smells Like Teen Spirit” for MTV. My favorite part is “I found it hard, it was hard to find.”

Helmet Head

This week’s Dustinland is pretty much what went down in real life when I recently picked up a bike at a garage sale. Unfortunately my wife is probably right. It just really does feel doofy riding around with a helmet on, especially when pretty much everyone I pass in my neighborhood is riding without one. But it’s true, even without commuting, all it takes is one accident, one stupid driver to put a dent in your head that could leave you unable to do anything but eat soup for the next 50 years.

This situation definitely made me feel like a little kid again though. “But come on, I don’t want to wear a wool winter hat! It makes me look stupid! None of the other kids wear them!”

So You Want Advice

I actually tackled the topic of this week’s Dustinland sometime back in 2007. Of course I didn’t realize that until after I finished drawing this latest strip. But I really do think this is a much improved comic so I took down the older one. Why did I wind up touching on the same topic twice? Well, for one, it’s a pretty universal truth that has most likely been going on for thousands of years, and probably will continue on into the future unless we evolve into higher beings or destroy ourselves (Doomsday Dusty at your service once again). But what really got me thinking about this again was a conversation I had with a cab driver. Who knew?

* Can anyone recognize what movie inspired the drawing in panel No. 3? Bonus points if you do!

Birdy comes to life

Not to toot my own horn or anything, but I think this week’s Birdy comics (this one, this one and this one) are pretty damn innovative. Birdy just does not get the props he deserves. Half the comics out there today feature stick figures, and here you’ve got a bunch of strips that really break the boundaries of what defines a comic, and guess what—the stick figure strips will continue to get more recognition.

And I’m not just talking about xckd here—I mean, I’ll give it to that guy, I may not love his stuff but who can deny that they are really smart and well-written. I’m talking about the many, many web comics out there where people don’t even bother trying to draw more than the bare minimum, or use the same image on each frame and just change the dialog. This stuff brings up a lot of questions. Ultimately, it’s all about content. If you can relate to the ideas, then you’ll like it. But as someone who appreciates comics as an art form, I don’t know if I can truly consider some of these things comics, or even if I can, are they good? Are they good comics, and are they good for comics as a whole? It’s ironic that I use Birdy to bring this point up, since Birdy is clearly not where I focus most of my artistic efforts most of the time, but at least Birdy is an actual drawing.

You may say I’m over-thinking. You can call me Andy Rooney. But I’ve drawn comics for most of my life. I’ve interned at Marvel. I’ve been publishing Dustinland weekly since 1997. I truly love and respect comics as an art form. Now when I see so many popular stick figure comics out there… part of me just feels frustrated. Not just from a hater sense, although jealousy does play a part on occasion, but from the perspective of someone who wants to see comics move forward, push ahead, become art. And the xckd guy, he’s got a book in the MOMA, so good for him. That really is cool and good for comics in general. But for most of this other stuff… well, I just don’t know. I’m glad people are reading comics, but I wish people would read more Chris Ware and less rage comics.

The World According To An Alcoholic Redux

Okay, so this comic about alcohol is making the rounds again, this time internationally, and I have to say pretty much the same thing I said last time, judging by some of the comments I have been getting:



The joke is, this is how a sloppy drunk sees the world! Not an alcohol aficionado! This comic is also making fun of these maps you see all over the internet which harshly and stupidly generalize the world.

FUCK. I know I shouldn’t fight comments on the internet because that’s like playing Whack-a-Mole with an infinite amount of moles and a toothpick for a hammer, but there are only so many times I can see someone post about how stupid I am, how little I know about alcohol etc… Some dude even emailed me today to lecture me about how Chilean wine is preferable to Argentinean wine! I mean, he was nice about it and all but still, holy shit. This comic was something I drew in a few minutes as a joke. People are taking it pretty damn seriously. Must be partially my fault.

Anyway, I made a it into a poster, so buy it now if you like it, or buy it now if you hate it then burn it or throw it in the ocean.

9/11: Ten Years After

My wife was surprised when I told her I was covering this topic, since it’s such become such a played out, political, media whore type thing, but it was (obviously) a really significant event, especially for those of us living in NYC at the time. So why let the Rudy Guiliani’s of the world take control of history?

I tried not to be overtly political with this strip, although I did subtly suggest that my reaction was not to cower in fear and blindly support war against everyone, starting with Iraq, but rather to try and work for a better future where we don’t run around destroying other nations and making even more enemies. Of course you can say, “Big deal Dustin, you went to some protests. What does that ever do?” Well, as you can see, in Egypt, protests did a lot. The thing is, there you had a huge percentage of the population demonstrating, and not leaving until there was some sort of concrete result. We haven’t had that here in a long time. But you know what? In order to get 50%, 60%, 70% of the people out on the streets, you have to start out with 1%, 5%, or 10% of the people. I’m happy to have been part of that small percentage, and I’d gladly do it again for the right cause. Hopefully next time more people will be there.

Also, in case there’s any question, I bought that T-shirt because it was so ridiculous, not because I think it’s awesome and like to wear it. There was an even worse one I could have got that said “9/11: I can’t believe I survived” but that was too much, even for me.

Sinead O’Connor Is Surprisingly Dirty

Who knew Sinead O’Connor was all about dirty butt sex? I guess recently she’s been tweeting about it and it’s causing quite a stir. That’s why MTV Hive asked me to illustrate some of her best quotes. Check it out!

*Picked up at The Daily Swarm.