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Call Me Daft, But That Isn’t Punk

I love music.

I don’t watch The Grammys.

The Ramones defined punk. I miss them. ( image by Helge Øverås CCby2.5)

Times change, I realize that. The generation before mine didn’t like the music that mine did, just as generations upon generations before ours did. Abraham Lincoln once said to his son, Robert “four score and seven years ago, we didn’t listen to this crap”. Abe’s honest assessment is as true today as it was back in the (18)’60′s.

So I didn’t know until I checked Twitter this morning that a band called Daft Punk existed. Perhaps that puts me in a very specific age niche – old enough not to know Daft Punk exists, young enough to use Twitter. “Daft Punk” I thought, “I love punk rock. I should listen to some of my Ramones or Dead Kennedys music today. Maybe I’ll buy some Daft Punk too.”

Fortunately, there is this thing called the internet, where you can check things out before you buy them. The internet taught me that if I’d bought a Daft Punk album on iTunes I would have contacted customer service and complained that I’d received a bad download.

THAT’S Grammy Worthy?

“…oh, the humanity…” (public domain, wikipedia)

Now, Daft Punk apparently won a Grammy, which is an indicator that people consider them good. They aren’t. Perhaps you’re wondering how not good they are. On the Standard Measurement Scale Of Not Good, Daft Punk is exactly on the “oh, the humanity” mark. Those of you who are familiar with the Standard Measurement Scale Of Not Good know that “oh, the humanity” is right next to the top of the scale, just below “game over, man, game over”.

My research told me that the music Daft Punk puts out is not punk rock, nor any other form of good music. I also learned that the band is two guys who perform in helmets so they’ll look like robots.

So two men who “perform” in helmets received an award for music that includes them singing. When I realized that, I could not help thinking of the “band” Milli Vanilli. Remember them? Grammy for Best New Artist…and then it turned they couldn’t sing the music they accepted an award for.

Perhaps I’m the only one who wonders about such things. But as Abraham Lincoln used to say “I’ve got no way of knowing for a fact, but I’m just sayin’ “.

He Crafted The Song And The Guitar He Played It On.

Perhaps if Guy Clark performed in a helmet he wouldn’t have had to wait until he was seventy-two years old to get the Grammy he’s deserved for decades.

Even righting a wrong isn’t enough to change my mind.

Next year, I’ll skip the Grammys again.

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56 Comments on “Call Me Daft, But That Isn’t Punk”

  1. Todd says:

    The Grammys are pointless, although they did recognize the timeless coolness of Herb Albert, so you can’t say they aren’t hip. (I’m being ironic, about Herb Alpert, I mean. I truly believe the Grammys are worthless.)

    Fun fact: Daft Punk’s actually been making electronic/dance music for over 20 years.

  2. Daft Punk reminds me of the music made in the big competition in “Revenge of the Nerds”. It is on my iPod, because the kid listens to them. but yeah give me old-school actual punk any time.

    • omawarisan says:

      I agree. And I get that some people like it, some people don’t. But I also believe that Johnny Rotten took the word punk out of the band name vernacular for every band forever unless they meet the threshold of punk that probably lives in your head.

      Daft Casio…sure, go with it. Daft PUNK? Denied.

  3. Lily says:

    It’s like when the young’un at work told me, ‘Oh, I love punk but only old punk.’ At first, I was impressed, then I thought…’What do you call old punk?’

    Green Day.

    ‘That ain’t punk, boy.’

    Like you said, I get different generations, blahblahblah but I don’t call something I listen to DuWop because Duwop was…Duwop. Duh?

    And I’ll say it AGAIN: if you can buy it at the mall — worse, at a particular SHOP in the mall? It’s not punk. You’ve pissed on something we created when we had no choice.

    Have YOUR thing. Or if you’re going to bite off mine, do a decent job.

    Regards,
    Bitchy Old Punk Lady

    • jonontopic says:

      I can buy The Sonics, Bad Brains, and Black Flag at the mall. Are we saying that they aren’t punk? You know what kills me the most about “punks” today? The elitist asshole attitude that says “you need to follow my rules to be punk.”

      You’re right, Green Day is some weak excuse for bubblegum punk. You know what though, I listened to Bad Religion and thought that was as punk as it gets when I was a kid. We all start somewhere and no one has the right to piss on someone else’s music just because they have an entitled opinion.

      • Lily says:

        I was referring to clothing at the mall, people buying a style that is about DIY. Punk was a movement.

        And fuck off.

        • jonontopic says:

          Oh, so let’s disregard punk music, because clearly punk was all about DIY. Look, I see you point there, I truly do, but do you realize how insanely petty it is to get mad at kids because they buy a studded belt or jacket at the mall? Punk was a movement, it was doing things on your own, it was expression through music, and it was not giving in to authoritative figures.

          As such, I’m not going to judge a persons “punkability” by their musical taste, fashion sense, and I’m sure as hell not going to be the authoritative figure telling them that they can’t dress a certain way or listen to a certain thing. I don’t think a punk lifestyle has more than a few rules: Be yourself. Be free. Most importantly, don’t persecute others.

          With that, I will fuck off.

          • Well I like a good cat fight same as the next person. But, both points were well written and each entitled. The fuck off lady did display the punk attitude Which is aggressiveness even when unnecessary just to prove you can. Rather polite response from jonotopic. So 1-1 I’d say. But yes, play nice on someone else’s blog.

    • omawarisan says:

      “Have YOUR thing. Or if you’re going to bite off mine, do a decent job.” That was beautiful.

  4. jonontopic says:

    You know, I used to be very anal about music. I was raised with Black Flag and Nirvana. Punk and grunge are two things that my mother gave me that I truly appreciate. Over the years I became angry at what people called punk or hardcore. Then a few years it hit me, I matured a bit. My music collection became much more eclectic. You know how people say “punk is dead” just to piss off some kid with a mohawk? Well I’m fairly certain that they aren’t that far off. Punk doesn’t have a life for much longer. Not to say that there aren’t good acts out there now, but it’s past time to accept that you either evolve or end up as a grumpy old man who hates that darn racket.

    So a few years ago I got a little brave and expanded my collection. I started with acoustic and indie and sort of built on to that. What I found out was that while a lot of music today may not reflect my carnal anger like Minor Threat did, but a lot of them conveyed strong emotions and good story telling. Then there are others like Daft Punk, which are just catchy and fun to party to (not that I get to do much of that these days).

    My point to you is this, don’t be so quick to be critical. Personally, I don’t want to be the man who hates music that “these dern kids listen to” because truth is, it’s just a different rhythm to the songs we heard before.

    Well all but dubstep. As Clay Hiers of the Bastard Suns said, “Dubstep is like bestiality; sure, technically it’s music, but we all know it’s just fucking wrong.”

    • omawarisan says:

      I’m with you, music is a spectrum and there’s probably something to hear from each shade on that spectrum. Our collections are probably both broad, but I hope that we could agree that some colors don’t look good on anyone…like dubstep.

      But there isn’t value in blindly downing generations of music. There are great artists out there today. Sadly, they aren’t pulling the recognition they ought.

      Thanks for stopping in!

    • omawarisan says:

      That dance/electronic category, I try but it just doesn’t hit me. But that’s what’s great about music – people like what they like. You’ve got to admit though, this is ripe for a Milli Vanilli incident.

      • Pie says:

        It would be ripe for a Milli Vanilli incident if they couldn’t play and create their own tunes. Casio, or not, they can at least play it. The singing on the other hand may be a cause for concern…

  5. Ooooo…it all makes sense now. I saw a pic of Daft Punk in helmets, and I kept thinking, “How are helmets punk rock?” They’re not. Got it. Thanks!

  6. Pie says:

    Just wanted to add that I also have a broad spectrum when it comes to music, thanks to an open minded set of parents. Music was such a big deal in our house growing up and still is in our souls. Indeed, both my brothers are musicians and have managed to play with many of our musical heroes. But growing up with such bands, artists and genres as David Bowie, The Clash, Frank Zappa, Billy Cobham, The Mahavishnu Orchestra, Tower Of Power, EWF, The Human League (early), Trojan Records and Jim Reeves (yes, I said that!) has set our musical bar very high.

    The X Factor has ruined music in Blighty as far as I’m concerned, but I have to fight against drifting towards the admittedly warm and comfortable old git Island and go in search of the new, or at least the new that shows a respectful reference and tribute to the old. It’s definitely out there and thanks to YouTube, you can now sit in front of your computer, phone or tablet and find great music old and new. It’s a brilliant treasure chest.

    Love your new profile pic by the way. Channeling Sons of Anarchy… nice one!

    Just one more thing. I can’t show my approval of your topics by ‘liking’ your posts. I don’t know why, because I don’t have this with other blogs. It’s very frustrating.

  7. dentaleggs says:

    Joey Ramone — the ugliest frontman in the history of music. But a great band nonetheless. I miss them.

  8. Nicole says:

    I’ve never been a fan of music shows. There is so much good music that never even gets blinked at.

    As for the age thing – apparently young twenty-somethings don’t remember the whole Harding/Kerrigan thing. Depressing.

    • omawarisan says:

      Hi Nicole, welcome!

      Amazing what drops out of common knowledge, isn’t it. Ever tried to explain a rotary phone to someone of that age group? And I’m not saying that disrespectfully. I’m 52 and my folks are still telling me things that were routine knowledge for their generation.

      • Nicole says:

        Rotary phone? You’re really pushing it with that! I tried to explain pre-text message communication to high school kids once (aka talking on the phone) and they just couldn’t comprehend. Maybe if I hadn’t tried to explain land lines we would have been okay…

  9. You are not alone. Milli Vanilli was my first thought when I saw them last night.

    • P.S. Thanks for including the Guy Clark video. I watched/listened several times.

      • omawarisan says:

        The album he won with is very worth having.

        • Yeah, I saw that it came out about the time I decided to slash my music budget. Right now I’m on Michelle Singletary’s (UMCP, Class of ’85, Elkton Hall, 4th Floor, holla!) “financial fast” and I can’t buy anything “nonessential.” When that’s over, or maybe just as soon as I construct a valid argument for the “essential” nature of music, I suspect that album will be my gateway back into the financial abyss that is music. :-)

  10. dentaleggs says:

    52 — you’re still a young chap.

  11. I wish I had skipped the Grammys. We were busy doing something else so we put it on in the background until we were ready to watch TV. More than once I said, “What is that noise? Please make it stop.” The last several years I have also found that the production values suck. It is a freaking music show…the mics should all work. There is nothing worse than watching a revered musician who has given his all to the music, the industry and the fans struggling with a mic because some tech forgot to do a sound check. It is just sad.

  12. 1jaded1 says:

    Now I wants me some Dead Kennedys…and some Daft Punk. I like ‘em both. Thanks for the good read!

  13. MJ says:

    The issue might be a simple matter of interpretation of the name “Daft Punk”. One can assume that through their choice of name, this duo are saying “we helmet-wearing Frenchmen deliver punk-genre music to our fans as have the legions of Frenchmen before us!” OR you could also interpret the word ‘punk’ to mean ‘lout’ or ‘troublemaker’ as in “come back here, you little punk!’. In the case of the latter, their name may simply mean ‘stupid troublemakers’, (which may be in fact quite accurate going by their incognito shenanigans) and may be in no way indicative of their type of music, which is in fact electro house.

    As a French team trying on an English name on for size, it could be a lost in translation type-of-thing, created by the same type of people that decided to name the Mitsubishi SUV a “Pajero”.

  14. Daft Punk–awful. Ok, I’ve never them before, but I just want to agree with you.

    Guy Clark is a favorite. Thank you. My kid caught my attention with some bluegrass ( I think) call Railspiltters. And I’ll admit the Macklemore -Thrift shop cracks me up–especially when my kid does it and cleans it up for me. When it comes to music I know so little so I just listen to what I like.

  15. I was so in love from afar with Joey Ramone….

  16. Nadia says:

    I know one Daft Punk song, and it’s okay-ish. Rather bring on the Ramones. Oldies but goodies, right?

  17. I can’t give up hours of my life to watch the Grammys only to find out that Madonna really ought to retire and Lourde dances funny. The spectacle just doesn’t do it for me anymore. I am getting old.

  18. knace says:

    I’m a little ashamed to say I didn’t know who Guy Clark was until today…but what a lovely song. I’m going to check out his other stuff.
    I don’t understand why anyone watches any of those award shows. I don’t have the patience.
    And I just can’t help it, I like Daft Punk. And the Ramones. And the Clash. =)
    Oh, and I really liked that song you shared on your last post. It was stuck in my head the rest of the day. I’m going to check out his stuff too.

  19. Blogdramedy says:

    I’m taking a sabbatical from awards season this year and just getting the highlights from the headlines. Am I the only one bored this year? *eye roll*

  20. Dude, I’m older than you and even I’ve heard of Daft Punk! But luckier for me I’ve never had to listen to them. From what I know the word Daft is in their name for a reason. Just sayin’.

  21. So after reading ALL the comments I am going to chime in with overall agreement. Music was huge in my house growing up. My parents were older when I came along so they listened to mostly classical, barbershop and on Sunday mornings, The Blackwatch which is full on Scottish bagpipes. My sister was ten years older so I got all her fifties music and still have her original Elvis collection. I grew up in the British invasion and have loved music enough to embrace pretty much everything that has come since. My son and daughter kept me up to date thru the 80s 90s and early turn of the century. Now I fly solo and they are always impressed that I am up on what’s new. I’ll listen to country, New age, jazz, old school rock, new rock and everything in between I don’t know the classification name. I listen to what I like period. I’ve also learned to be open minded and learned to like some bands that I initially hated. Two examples. First, Boy George. He freaked me out so much I feared for the life of baby kittens! But when I listened, LISTENED to him without watching him, I discovered a sweet voice with gentle sweet lyrics and a loving message. Who knew. Next was The New Radicals. Every time my daughter put it on (their Only CD) I’d make fun of it. Well it’s in my collection now (yes I stole it from her) and I Love every single song. So I only had to learn the hard way twice to give everything in music a chance. There is still some I don’t care for and some I flat out refuse to listen to, but not without giving it a shot first. It’s just each to his own. No need to be rude to someone else for their taste as long as you keep it about the music and not the person listening to it. As one of the previous postings said, we grow up, we evolve and our taste changes. Would I listen to Savage Garden today? Maybe not on purpose but I’ll sing along if they come on the radio.

  22. pegoleg says:

    I hadn’t heard of these dudes either. And what’s this “Twitter” business? Boy, do I feel old.

  23. Green Wuf says:

    I find it funny in an ironic sense that you thought Daft Punk was punk. I do listen to some Daft Punk, but I completely agree that the Grammys are rubbish now. A lot of the “popular” music that gets featured on there is now either cookie cutter or music purely in the sense that it has sounds. Just curious, what Daft Punk song did you hear?

  24. List of X says:

    I think the only real problem with Daft Punk is that they did not choose the most appropriately descriptive name. They should have named themselves Men In Helmets Making Grammy-Winning Music Oma Doesn’t Like. However, that has been a very common problem with many different bands like Dead Kennedys (none of the members was dead or a Kennedy) or Eagles (the band consisted mostly of people), and so on.

  25. spencercourt says:

    > is two guys who perform in helmets so they’ll look like robots.

    They ripped off Devo…!

    I think the real test of music is whether 30+ years from now there will be radio stations devoted entirely, or at least largely, to that style. We have classical music stations. We have “oldies rock” stations.


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