Pop Culture Princess

Pop Culture Princess
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Monday, May 20, 2013

Accessing some Random Memories with Daft Punk

Granted, I'm far from being a major audiophile but even a non-High Fidelity gal like myself can see the wave of enthusiasm that fans and critics are riding on for the new Daft Punk album,Random Access Memories,which is due out tomorrow.

 For those of you less than familiar with this group, Daft Punk is a electronic musical duo of French men (Thomas Bangalter and Guy Manuel de Homem-Christo) who have been on the scene since the late '90s and have a strong cult following.

Their distinctive style of computerized tunes,along with the robot masks that they wear for public appearances, have brought them an unique place in the pop culture pantheon. For the most part, Daft Punk hasn't been connected too much to mainstream audiences with the exception of a breakout song from their 2001 album Discovery,"One More Time":

 Daft Punk comes out with an album every few years,which made their being tapped to create the soundtrack for 2010's Tron: Legacy even more of a draw to their devoted fan base.

 The guys even appear in part of the film,as the DJs at the End of the Line club, and the Austin Film Critics Association gave the soundtrack a Best Original Score that year.

 It also received a Grammy nomination and the single release of "Derezzed" has become the standard go-to tune for this movie. In fact, I'm sure many people would love yet another Tron movie just to have Daft Punk make another soundtrack for it:

 What's making folks talk about Random Access Memories is the combination of past influences and present course of musical action. The theme of the entire album is the human factor involved in making such techno based music and Daft Punk pays tribute to those who paved the way for them by having on board such innovators as Giorgio Moroder(who contributes a piece that can only be described as a musical autobiography), Nile Rodgers and Julian Casablancas.

A series of videos featuring some of these illustrious music makers has been online for awhile now as part of the promotion for RAM. My favorite one features Paul Williams, who wrote the lyrics for his song "Touch" and sings it himself, a rather haunting number that his fictional music mogul Swan would've eagerly signed onto for a performance at the Paradise:

 In addition to the critical buzz floating around RAM, the first single off the album "Get Lucky"(with vocals by Pharrell Williams) has become one of the most downloaded songs on iTunes and has landed them for the first time on the Billboard charts in America.

 While mainstream acceptance does not automatically make one a major artist in any field, it is awesome to see truly talented artisans get the reception they deserve.

 I got to know Daft Punk through my sister Stephanie(who is way more of a music person than me) and it's one of the few pop culture interests that we share. In a way, I guess our mutual enjoyment of Daft Punk is what this album is all about, making and keeping human connections in an increasing advanced techno world. The song and album of the summer is here,folks and we're all getting lucky to have this ultimate next level in audio appreciation unveiled before us:

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