132: Music Knowledge

Explain xkcd: It's 'cause you're dumb.
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Music Knowledge
When Guitar Hero 2 comes out I'll have fresh conversational material for MONTHS.
Title text: When Guitar Hero 2 comes out I'll have fresh conversational material for MONTHS.


The punchline of this comic is that just by naming bands from the game Guitar Hero, you can sound pretty knowledgeable about music without actually knowing anything about the bands you are naming. This is further emphasized when Megan mentions Metallica, a very famous band that mostly everyone can be assumed to have heard of, and Cueball has no clue who they are, because Metallica is not featured in Guitar Hero (at the time of this comic writing).

In the title text, Cueball (or possibly Randall) is just hoping for a sequel to Guitar Hero to get more, and newer, conversational material.


[Megan and Cueball converse.]
Megan: What kind of music do you listen to?
Cueball: Oh, a mix of things. Some classic rock like Boston, but then of course Queen and Bowie, Joan Jett...
Megan: Definitely, we need more of those sounds.
Cueball: But there's some great newer stuff too, like Franz Ferdinand, The Donnas, and Audioslave.
Megan: Sometimes they're a little much for me. I go more for things like The Arcade Fire, sometimes mixing some electronic sounds like Postal Service.
Cueball: Oh yeah—have you ever checked out Freezepop?
Megan: Mhm! Synth pop can be fun, but at the same time, I agree that sometimes you just need to blast some Metallica.
Cueball: Who?
Megan: ...Metallica.
Cueball: Are they new?
I sound pretty knowledgeable about music until people figure out that I'm just naming bands from Guitar Hero.


  • In his Google-speech in late 2007, Randall expressed some form of dissatisfaction with Guitar Hero III (coincidentally the first edition in the series to include a Metallica song).
  • In 2009, three years after this comic was released, Metallica eventually got a game Guitar Hero: Metallica.

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It may be worth noting that much of Freezepop's popularity comes from one of the band members being the music director for Guitar Hero and related games and slipping in their own songs. This got them an audience way beyond most synthpop bands (and I'm sure endorsements by people like Randall didn't hurt).

Of course the rest of their popularity comes from the fact that they wrote great music, made cute videos, and put on a fun live show. And that synthpop is just better than whatever you listen to. 23:37, 16 September 2015 (UTC)

Oh, please. Queen, Bowie, and Joan blow Freezepop out of the water