Tag Archives: music nerd


This week’s Dustinland comic is a music nerd jab at Alexa and all the other voice operated smart speakers out there that play music for you. Actually it’s not really a jab at the speakers themselves, really more of a jab at people with bad tastes in music. Or a jab at people with obnoxious, snooty tastes in music, if you want to think of it that way. I don’t know why I keep saying “jab.” I never say that. Jab.

Also just to be clear, despot is “a ruler or other person who holds absolute power, typically one who exercises it in a cruel or oppressive way.” It’s not a highly used word but I found it perfect for this imaginary app. Which, to be honest, would be pretty great. If any coding nerd wants to create it, let’s do it! It would probably be about 5000x more work for you than for me, but I did come up with a pretty sweet idea, name and comic, so that sounds about fair. Man, I bet people who can code get approached with ideas like this ALLLL the time. Must be super annoying.


This week’s new Dustinland comic is pretty straightforward. But I really do think it worked. Took a while. When he was two, three, he just didn’t care about music. Then it hit me — instead of focusing on the music, I focused on the subject matter. It had to be really obvious. And it had to be about a kid-friendly subject. Police, good guys, bad guys, monsters, robots, thunder, lightning, fire, race cars… And as you can see from my comic, it worked! And once he got hooked, then he diversified on his own and started hearing my music and asking me to add it to his list.

So I did it! At least until he’s older and then instinctively starts listening to whatever I hate, just to make a statement. So I guess pop country. Can’t wait.

Infinite Playlist

I’ve been thinking about the topic of this week’s Dustinland for a while now. It’s the whole Spotify thing. Not just the idea of renting music. The idea that you can just press a button and magically have an album, basically for free. It’s not even the same as illegal downloading. Even that required a bit or work or at least risk. This is just so effortless. People thought illegal downloading devalued music but I wonder if this is even worse.

Don’t get me wrong—I know music is as popular as ever. I just wonder if we’ll have less music-obsessed High Fidelity type nerds in the future. Less passionate music addicts. I mean, people are going to grow up in a world without mixes! Making someone a mix is such an amazingly personal expression—it’s like making a painting for someone. Something you’d slave over to get just right, like a DJ working on a set for some huge festival. Now… what? You can share your entire collection without any effort. What’s the fun of that? It’s all just so disposable now. So casual. Is there even such a thing a cool music collection anymore? Remember going to someone’s house and being wowed by their music—records, tapes, CDs, whatever… Will anyone ever be impressed by someone’s Spotify lists?

It’s tough. The unlimited access is awesome of course, but an entire music lover culture is being wiped away by it. Maybe it will be replaced by a new one that’s just as cool but in different ways. I hope so, I honestly do.

Nice Fade

Man I swear I already titled a comic Nice Fade and it was about something completely different. This comic is about music—when songs fade out at the end. That other comic was about when you fade out a friend.

Now, of course I could go back and look if I used that title already, but I’m too lazy or busy or fathery. And to tell you the truth, I don’t even know if I did a comic about that friend fade subject. But if I didn’t, I should.

Anyway, I’m sure there are some musicians out there reading this who are thinking, “Yeah, please, this cartoon loser who’s never written a song in his life is telling me I suck for fading out a song.” And to that I say, “Bro, relax. It’s just a funny comic.”

It’s Time To Play: Who’s The Nerdiest?

This week’s Dustinland has a poll! How fun is that? I probably should have figured out how to do it so that the poll’s answers would show right on the site but I got really tired of sitting at the computer all day. It actually starts to physically hurt after a while. IF YOU’RE A NERD!!!! Oh snap. Really though, I think it’s great to be a nerd. It just means you are really obsessive over something and you have a lot of knowledge in one area. What’s wrong with that? I myself can be categorized in more than one of those categories, although the only one I will admit to is music. And maybe a little hobbit action, if you know what I mean.

As for the rest of them, man, I had to do a lot of research for this sucker. It’s all real! Some of the dialogue is almost word-for-word straight out of internet forums (it’s interesting – each nerdom has its own little language). I even looked up T-shirts, so there are some jokes in this strip that I don’t even get. Anyway, it will be fun to see what wins the poll, although it will be disappointing if only like 17 people vote in it. Also I really hope people don’t vote for webcomics just to be “funny.”

P.S. In case you don’t know, LARPing stands for Live Action Role Play (see the movie Darkon).

*Edit – So knitting is winning the poll for the nerdiest of the nerds. I am not the only one who found this a bit suspect, so I dug around a little and found that there was a decent amount of traffic driven to the Dustinland by a site called Ravelry, which is apparently a “knit and crochet community.” You have to be a member to look inside the forums, but oddly enough it appears someone is actually encouraging other  members to vote for knitting. I guess they are embracing their nerdiness, and there’s nothing wrong with that.

Dustinland — The Music Nerd’s Burden

Hey, don’t get me wrong with this week’s Dustinland: music is my life. I love it, I obsess over it, and I wouldn’t have it any other way. However, sometimes it does seem like it would be way easier for either everyone else to have a moderate degree of good taste, or for me to just be a musical dumbass. Hey, it’s not just the obvious places. Sure, there’s terrible music playing in way more than half the bars in New York City every night — you can usually tell before you even walk in if the music is going to suck or not. But why must there be horrible music everywhere? Restaurants, laundromats, neighboring cubicles, passing cars, bakeries, movie theaters, sports arenas, elevators… it never ends. And if you must play horrible music, play it at a reasonable volume at least. If we’re not at a bar or club, there is no reason I should be assaulted by loud, crappy music. Especially when it’s not even appropriate to the venue. I’m sitting at a traditional Thai restaurant. Why am I listening to Bon Jovi? WHY? Oh to be an idiot and love the Billboard Top 100. It would be so much easier.

*** UPDATE: This comic got a ton of Diggs today, which is always nice. And man did people go off on me in the comments section! Wow! If I had a dollar for each time I was called a douchebag on the internet today, I’d be a millionaire! You know, I’m looking at the comic now and just wondering what there is to be so angry about. Are there that many Katy Perry fans out there?

Really though, the thing is, I love music. It’s one of the most important things in my life. I listen to music all the time, I research new and old bands, I write reviews and interview artists, I used to DJ, and I still play guitar (badly). Now calm down all you assholes who have been calling me “pretentious.” I’m not bragging. I’m making a point. And that point is, when you love something so much, you have a strong opinion about it. A lot of people are casual music listeners, and when they don’t like a song, it doesn’t offend them. They just sit there happily eating lunch as some song plays in the background. But for me and people like me who LOVE music, it doesn’t work that way. Once that horrible song comes on, you can’t ignore it. It’s like trying to ignore a mosquito biting you in your bed.

You see, music is literally my favorite thing. If I could do anything, I’d go to a concert. If my apartment was on fire, I’d save my hard drive with all my music backed up on it (and my comics). So yes, I have strong opinions on what music I like and don’t like. And I can express them. In fact, if I didn’t express them, nobody would care about my comics. That’s right all you people calling me a pretentious douchebag — does this make for an interesting read:

“I think everyone is entitled to their opinion on music, and everything else for that matter. Nobody is wrong and everyone is right. Everyone can listen to whatever they want as long as they’re happy.”

No shit. Thanks for the update. That makes for a real interesting read.

Music lovers out there, I know you understand me. Anyone who has ever been brought to tears just from hearing a song, you know what I mean. The rest of you… well, enjoy your crappy music.

*** UDPATE 2: The folks over at Reddit are talking about the strip as well.