Daft Punk: What you need to know

Daft Punk: What you need to know

You may have been surprised, as I was, that Daft Punk won so many awards at last night’s Grammys.  If you didn’t really know anything about them (beyond hearing “Get Lucky” every few minutes on the radio), you might also have been surprised that Pharrell Williams seemed to be acting as their interpreter.  Who are these guys dressed like robots?  Here are some quick and dirty facts:

    • Daft Punk is a French electronic music duo.  Its two members are Guy-Manuel de Homem-Christo and Thomas Bangalter.  They are famous for the house/club music played in clubs in France.  To me their music sounds like they are singing with their helmets on or, if you’re old enough to remember this, they borrowed Peter Frampton’s voicebox.
    • They composed 24 tracks for the film Tron: Legacy.
    • Random Access Memories is their fourth album.  Their first three were released in 1997, 2001 and 2005.
    • There is another song, “Lose Yourself to Dance,” on Random Access Memories that also features Pharrell Williams.  My favorite song on the album is “Fragments of Time,” featuring Todd Edwards.
    • They won five Grammys on Sunday night (everything they were nominated for): Album of the Year, Record of the Year, Best Dance/Electronica Album, Best Engineered Album (non-classical) and Best Pop Duo/Group Performance.  Prior to that, they had been nominated for a total of eight Grammys and had won two.
    • What's with the helmets? According to an interview with Rolling Stone last May: "'We're interested in the line between fiction and reality, creating these fictional personas that exist in real life' – and a way to enfold Daft Punk's music within a tradition of flamboyant pop theatricality that includes 'Kraftwerk and Ziggy Stardust and Kiss; people thought the helmets were marketing or something, but for us it was sci-fi glam.'"
    • Do they ever take their helmets off?  They try not to, but photos of them do exist- I’m not sure how old this one is:


  • In their spare time, they seem to make commercials, such as this Gap ad:

And there you have it, you're all caught up now!

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