Thursday, November 8, 2007

[032] Homework

Album: Homework
Artist: Daft Punk
Release Date: January 1997
Label: Virgin
Producers: Daft Punk

“I was there.
I was the first guy playing Daft Punk to the rock kids.
I played it at CBGB's.
Everybody thought I was crazy."
- from LCD Soundsystem’s “Losing My Edge”

Daft Punk entry - Take 1:
- Suburban living room, August 2007
John (at the top of the stairs, shouting down from the 2nd floor): Hey Ian?

Ian (on the couch): Yeah, what’s up?

John (walking down the stairs): I’m working on the list for my blog, and I think I need more dance albums, cuz all I had was Dig Your Own Hole.

Ian (putting aside his pile of unopened mail): What are you thinking?

John (standing on the stairs, leaning against the wall): Well, I’m gonna add an Aphex Twin album because I think they represent like the non-clubby end of everything, but that’s only two albums. I don’t want to force it, like the albums have to be as good as everything already on there.

Ian: Daft Punk.

John: Yeah? Ya think so? I don’t know, I was never big on them, but their shows have been blowing them up lately. Have you heard the song they did with Kanye? Well, he kinda just sampled them, but they're in the video; it's like Akira, which is cool.

Ian: I haven't heard it yet. I can wait to go to see them at Coney Island. I just got my tickets in the mail from Ticketmaster.

John: Is that the show with The Rapture?

Ian: Yup.

John: OK, well, yeah, I guess they’ve really influenced the DFA crew, so them playing together makes sense, and I guess that goes hand-in-hand with all the Indie Rock bands “learning to dance”, and shit. There has been like this...revision of public opinion on the worth of Disco, and that kind of started with them...but, which album should I listen to?

Ian: Homework.

John: Really? It always seemed too minimal to me.

Ian: That’s the point. Their entire point has always been to show the world that anyone can do what they do. If I taught you the programs, you could make that album in a couple weeks. It's all just using filters and distortion. They just happened to be really good at it. The Chemical Brothers dug their early singles, and gave them a remix to do, and that was it. They got signed like right after that.

John: Hmmm, I’ll listen to it, and see what I think.

- Montage of John with his headphones on, bobbing his head, staring at a computer monitor; it shows, alternately, iTunes playing Homework, the Daft Punk page on Wikipedia, and YouTube videos of recent Daft Punk concert footage.

- A few days later. Split screen; John calls Ian on the phone.
Ian: Yo, what's up?

John: I listened to Homework. Yeah, that shit is crazy.

Ian: That's what I've been telling you for years.

John: I kind of feel like, with the simplicity of it, and the insistence of the 4/4 beats, and what you said about them making it deliberately easy to figure out, that it's like the House music version of the Ramones' first album. They're the dance music Ramones, breaking dance music back down to its basic ingredients. Just think about how at that time, dance music was mutating across the board, just like Punk spreading in 1977.

Ian: That's an interesting point.

John: But it's also very...not smart...but clever. It's like the musical version of Borat, where people think that he's completely idiotic, but then once they're in on it, it becomes this brainy critique of society, and Daft Punk is kinda like that with dance music.

Ian: Also understand that no one ever really got their studio albums until now, on this tour they're doing; it's become obvious that they've planned all of it from the beginning, the way songs from all three albums fit together to make a bigger whole.

John: Like Voltron.

Ian: Right. I gotta go. I'm glad you liked it.

John: Yeah, man, I did. Talk to you later.

Ian: Ok, peace.

John: Peace.
- Fade Out

Daft Punk entry - Take 2:

Homework is so funky, even this guy can dance to it!!

01. “Daftendirekt”
02. “WDPK 83.7 FM” [interlude]
03. “Revolution 909”
04. “Da Funk”
05. “Phoenix”
06. “Fresh”
07. “Around The World”
08. “Rollin’ & Scratchin’”
09. “Teachers”
10. “High Fidelity”
11. “Rock ‘n’ Roll”
12. “Oh Yeah”
13. “Burnin’”
14. “Indo Silver Club”
15. “Alive”
16. “Funk Ad” ["Da Funk" reprise]

"Da Funk" [live at the Wireless Festival, London, 06.07]

"Around The World" [single edit - video]

"Fresh" [video]

"Burnin'" [single edit - video]

- BONUS: "Daftendirekt" [audio/fan video]
- BONUS: "Revolution 909" [single edit - video]
- BONUS: "Da Funk" [video]
- BONUS: "Phoenix" [audio]
- BONUS: "Rollin' & Scratchin'" [live in Brooklyn, 08.07]
- BONUS: "Teachers" [audio]
Don't ask me why there's a pic of Johnny Cash in Brian Wilson's place.
- BONUS: "High Fidelity" [audio]
- BONUS: "Indo Silver Club" [audio]

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