Who is Daft Punk?

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Metal-heads have taken over the Grammys, and no, I’m not talking about Metallica and Lang Lang.

Daft Punk, in all their robo-themed glory, won every category they were nominated in, which is no small feat, considering they were up for 5. Their album Random Access Memories won Album of the Year, Best Dance/Electronica Album, and Best Engineered Album. Their Song “Get Lucky” also won Record of the Year and Best Pop Duo/Group Performance.

After being on the music scene for nearly 20 years and dishing out masterpieces like “Around the World,” “One More Time,” and “Technologic,” Daft Punk finally succeeded in showing the Grammy community the light (which gleams oh so majestically off their futuristic metallic helmets).

And there’s really no denying that “Get Lucky” and Random Access Memories were some of the most refreshing bits of music to come out in 2013. It’s a shame then that most people had never heard of Daft Punk until just this year. In light of their recent success, many are asking, just who exactly is Daft Punk, and why are they dressed like space men.

Allow me to enlighten you.

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Daft Punk is a French electronic/house (techno for those of you not familiar with the genre) Duo, and have been around since the mid ’90s. They are composed of Thomas Bangalter and Guy-Manuel de Homem-Christo.

Their first album Homework was released in 1997, and is largely credited for bringing electronic music closer to the mainstream.

Their second album, Discovery, was released in 2001, and was met with enormous critical success. The song “Harder, Better, Faster, Stronger” from that album also won a Grammy for Best Dance Recording, and was sampled on Kanye West’s hit, “Stronger.”

In 2005, Daft Punk released their third album Human After All. Despite some success with singles like “Technologic,” it was met with mixed reviews, and was the last studio album Daft Punk made until the release of Random Access Memories in 2013.

Daft Punk released a live concert album in 2007 called Alive 2007, which received a Grammy for Best Electronic/Dance Album. They also did the score for Disney’s Tron: Legacy, which came out in 2010.

As to why they wear the helmets, the taller Daft Punk member, Thomas Bangalter, said that “nobody cared who I was until I put on the mask.” Er, wait… that was actually a quote from Bane in The Dark Knight Rises (Sorry. I couldn’t resist).

Actually, Daft Punk has stated on several occasions that they wear the masks to conceal their identities. When they wear their helmets, everybody sees them as Daft Punk, but whenever they take them off, they become just like anybody else. They can go out in public without being ambushed by fans and paparazzi, and enjoy absolutely normal lives. In a way, they’re like real life superheroes, minus the crime fighting part.

They can enjoy being famous without having to deal with the problems of being famous! Plus, those helmets make for some seriously good branding. How brilliant is that?!

Anyway, to celebrate Daft Punk’s winning night at the Grammys, I thought I’d link a few of their more memorable music videos. Check it out!

This is their first big hit from Homework, “Around the World.” Don’t let the repetitive lyrics stop you from watching this video. The vid is probably one of the better ones from the ’90s.

Instead of making a music videos for individual songs, Daft Punk decided to make an Anime movie for the whole album, Discovery, called Interstella 5555. This is the part of the movie that features the song “One More Time.” I’m not a huge fan of the movie (although I might like it better if the mouths matched the lyrics), but the song itself is great!

This video for “Technologic” is downright creepy! Rumor has it, the robot doll is actually Chucky from Child’s Play without his skin.

This is a snippet of the Alive 2007 concert. The Songs featured are “Around The World,” “Harder, Better, Faster, Stronger,” and “Television Rules The Nation.”

This is Kanye West’s “Stronger.” Cool vid. Cool song. Really cool Daft Punk Cameos.

This is the a cappella group, Pentatonix’s, tribute to Daft Punk. Every sound, from the bass to the synth noises, are made with their mouths. It is really pretty cool, and whether you’re a Daft Punk fan or not, it is worth watching.

Looking Ahead to the Grammys – for Better or for Worse

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Everyone has their own taste in music, so it’s no wonder that when the Grammys are brought up in a conversation, the topic is met with either enthusiastic excitement or unapologetic disdain.

Over the years, the Grammys has propped up the most successful artists and bands in music. The show usually only awards the most popular acts and has live performances given by, again, the most popular acts. Indie artists and artists who are on smaller labels are almost always snubbed entirely, regardless of how good their actual music is. Look at Capital Cities’ hit “Safe and Sound.” It was released independently in 2011 – that’s right, almost 3 YEARS AGO!!! – and only now that the band has ties to a bigger marketer, has the song gotten any recognition.

It’s no surprise, though. If the Grammys actually gave awards to the very best, odds are that they would go to a lot of acts that no one has ever heard of. That would be bad for the show’s ratings, because, you know, why would anybody watch a show about people and things they don’t care about? The show wouldn’t be able to sustain itself.

That being said (and really, it does need to be said, doesn’t it?), I love popular music! And I love the Grammys! There really isn’t anything wrong with the fact it’s just a popularity contest. It’s just entertainment, after all. And it’s all just opinion, too. In 2009, for example, both the Record of the Year, and Album of the Year awards went to the collaboration between Robert Plant (the lead singer from Led Zeppelin, for those who don’t know) and Alison Krauss. It was a great album, don’t get me wrong, but I doubt every single person who ever heard it would have picked it to be best of the year. The same goes for the 2010 Album of the Year winner, Taylor Swift, and all the other winners in all categories in every award show ever, for that matter.

So, seeing as the 2014 Grammys are only a little over 24 hours away, I thought it would only be fitting that I list my own winners for the top categories, based on the Grammy selected nominees. Bold entries are winners.

Record of the Year: 

“Get Lucky” – Daft Punk

“Radioactive” – Imagine Dragons

“Royals” – Lorde

“Locked Out of Heaven” – Bruno Mars

“Blurred Lines” – Robin Thicke

This was a close one. My brain said “Royals,” but my heart said “Get Lucky.” Both songs are fantastic, but I just can’t help but dance when I hear “Get Lucky,” which pushes it over the edge here.

Album of the Year:

The Blessed Unrest – Sara Bareilles

Random Access Memories – Daft Punk

Good Kid, M.A.A.D City – Kendrick Lamar

The Heist – Macklemore and Ryan Lewis

Red – Taylor Swift

This one is seriously tough! It is about tied between Kendrick, Macklemore, and Daft Punk. Random Access Memories was great in how bold and different it was. The Heist is just a fun album, from start to finish. Macklemore also touches on some sensitive issues in a few songs, which definitely deserves recognition. Good Kid, M.A.A.D City is a serious stylistic throwback to the ’90s. Kendrick Lamar brings a lot of dark themes to the album, and it really adds a genuine quality to it. Plus, a lot of the beats are just plain awesome. Overall, Lamar’s album stands out the most for me at this point, but who knows, this choice is so close, I might change my mind by tomorrow.

Song of the Year:

“Just Give Me a Reason” – Pink, Jeff Bhasker, and Nate Ruess

“Locked Out of Heaven” – Bruno Mars, Philip Lawrence, and Ari Levine

“Roar” – Katy Perry, Lukasz Gottwald, Max Martin, Bonnie McKee, and Henry Walter

“Royals” – Ella Yelich O’Connor and Joel Little

“Same Love” – Ben Haggerty, Ryan Lewis, Mary Lambert, and Curtis Mayfield

This one is no contest. It’s “Royals,” hands down out of this selection.

That’s my 2 cents, anyway. What do you think? Who should win? Who shouldn’t even be up there? Were there any snubs for the major categories (*cough* Justin Timberlake *cough*)? Fill out the poll and comment below!

Do My Opinions Even Matter?

Hi all, and welcome to my first post!

As my blog title and description might suggest, this blog will be dedicated to my thoughts, opinions, and insights on popular music, movies, video games, and television. I’ll also give my views on important current events and other things that might be worth mentioning.

But the real question is, do my opinions really even matter? I was raised hearing, over and over again, that opinions are like butts – everybody’s got one. And you know, it really is true. But, the thing is, are opinions really just as worthless as a person’s posterior?

Maybe. Maybe not. My view is that a person’s opinion is worth as much as that person’s life itself. After all, our opinions are really what makes us unique, aren’t they? Then again, that’s just my opinion…

In any case, I’m not trying to make an argument for why you should read my blog. Honestly, I’m just trying to write an interesting introduction! Read my blog if you want, or don’t if you don’t want (to). If you choose to do the former, however, I promise that I’ll do my very best to keep you entertained with my opinions on things that keep you entertained.

Stay tuned!