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Who DIDN’T Know that Daft Punk is French? Posted by on Apr 13, 2011 in Music, Vocabulary

Almost à mi-chemin (halfway)between la place Charles-de-Gaulle and Place de Clichy, the Lycée Carnot (Carnot High school) saw many young and ambitious students graduate to become influential men and woman in the world: Some, as Jacques Chirac and Dominique Strauss-Kahn (a contender in the upcoming French Présidentielles) became de fins politiciens (shrewd politicians); others, like Louis Aragon were to become famous écrivains (writers); des acteurs remarquables (remarkable actors), like Jean Reno, also attended classes there (remember him in le Grand Bleu, les Visiteurs, Léon, Ronin, Da Vinci Code, etc.); and finally musicians, such as the duo who, until today, many “around the world” still express surprise to find out that they are actually French: Of course, we’re talking about none other than Daft Punk!

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When Thomas Bangalter, the son of a noted musician (his father collaborated with la Compagnie Créole, for example), met like-minded Guy-Manuel de Homem-Christo at the lycée Carnot, les deux sont devenus amis (the two became friends) and decided to start a band they called Darlin’, which they named after the 1967 song of The Beach Boys.

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In 2002, Thomas Bangalter composed la bande originale (the soundtrack) of the movie “Irreversible“, starring Vincent Cassel and his wife Monica Bellucci. A deliberately provocative, ultra-violent, and particularly disturbing movie (inciting quite an uproar in the Cannes Festival of the same year), it contains a horrific scene shot within a few blocks from the lycée Carnot, where the Daft Punk duo attended their high school years—Needless to say, you’re definitely not advised to watch it!

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In an amusing ironie du sort (irony of fate), shortly after Darlin’ performed two gigs or so in the foggy pays des Beatles (country of the Beatles), the now defunct UK magazine “Melody Maker” issued a very unflattering review of their songs, dismissing their music as mere “daft punk“— That is, the very same sobriquet they would later adopt as their stage name, and under which they would become mondialement connus (world famous.)

How about that for bouncing back from un échec (a failure)!

Daft Punk – “Alive”

Daft Punk released their premier (first) single titled “The New Wave” in 1994, a track which would then turn into a final mix, “Alive“, which eventually made it into “Homework“, their debut album.

Released trois années (three years) after their first single, “Homework” also contained huge hits, such as “Da Funk” and “Around the World“, which propelled le duo françaisto worldwide fame.

“Da Funk” (1995), directed by Spike Jonze (later of “Being John Malkovich” fame, also director of “Sabotage” by The Beastie Boys, and Björk’s “It’s Oh So Quiet”), the Daft Punk music video features un homme-chien (a man-dog) carrying a radiocassette (boombox) in the streets of New York City!

–                                          Daft Punk – “Around the World”

Only a year after Kylie Minogue‘s single “Spinning Around” came out, heralding a new “synthpop” era that would dominate most of the past décennie (yes, “décennie” means “decade”, because we’re now in 2011!), Daft Punk released their second album titled “Discovery

Ok, just “One More Time”? (from the 2001 “Discovery” album)
Could it really have been il y a dix ans (ten years ago?)

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Also from the “Discovery” album, “Aerodynamic” appeared the following year in the highly-acclaimed French movie “l’Auberge espagnole”, the prequel to Les Poupées russes”

Daft Punk’s “Robot Rock” (“Human After All”)

In 2005, Daft Punk’s album “Human After All” received mixed reviews: Considering that it was conceived in barely three weeks, many a critique accused it of being nothing less than “du travail bâclé” (“a botched job”)!

Finally, in 2010, the Frenchy duo Daft Punk “went Hollywood” to meet TRON: Legacy
À vous de juger mes amis (You be the judge my friends)

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