Tag Archives: music

DESPOTify

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.

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Shower Prodigy

This week’s Dustinland comic is a true musical story. I have a crazy memory for anything related to music. Friends’ birthdays? Not so much. But anything related to music I like, that’s deeply ingrained.

This strip is about mid-to-late ’90s music. Well, 1996, really. Can you catch all the albums in the background? Check out the comic and then come back and scroll down for the answer!

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Tricky – Pre Millennium Tension

Plug – Drum n Bass For Papa

Dr Octagon – Dr. Octagonecologyst

DJ Shadow – Endtroducing

Aphex Twin – Richard D James

Underworld – Second Toughest In The Infants

Soul Coughing – Irresistible Bliss

Tortoise – Millions Now Living Will Never Die

Jump

Well, my hand is healing, but this new Dustinland comic is still a bit sloppy. Also I just got back from Disney World, so I’ve been busy. So yes, this strip is not perfect, but it does exist, which I think is a plus. Also it really did happen, which is super weird and trippy.

More on Disney soon, but I really do need time to come up with something epic and David Foster Wallace-ian for such an experience.

Inrocktrinate

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.

The Color Of Pain

I had so much fun with last week’s Dustinland comic, based on the annoying baseball anthem/classic folksong “Cotton Eyed Joe,” that I decided to follow up with a new and very serious strip in the same vein. I won’t ruin the joke with a spoiler alert, so go check it out now before reading the rest of this post.

Go. I’ll give you some room so you don’t accidentally read what it’s about.

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So yeah, I wonder if Eiffel 65 had such bummer thoughts in mind when they wrote the classic hit, “I’m blue.” Because if you look at the lyrics, they are pretty depressing. Maybe not as bad as I took it, but hey, good times.

Despair

I was gone for a couple of weeks on a work trip, so I figured I’d come back with a very serious Dustinland comic for these very serious times.

And it does bring up a lot of good questions. Where DID he come from? And where DID he go? It’s a mystery we’ve been trying to solve for ages. And the answer… well, that’s something we may never know.

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.