WEAKER, CRAPPIER, OLDER, LAMER

In Editorial /

Alex Hamlyn

Arts & Life Editor

I have nothing against robots.

I’m not worried about them taking my job or trying to conquer humanity. Heck, I’d probably even buy T-1000 a beer if he asked nice enough. I do, however, have something against obsolete, wannabe robots.

I’m looking at you, Daft Punk.

You had your time already during our brief and ill-advised flirtation with European dance music in the mid-1990s (remember Technotronic’s “Pump Up The Jam”?) Sure you got director Spike Jonze on your side — “Da Funk’s” dog-man video was pretty wicked — and the robo-voice was pretty catchy, so long as it was repeating the same phrase 10,000 times.

However, not even some Kanye lovin’ can justify your resurgence now. I’ve heard the much-heralded “Alive 2007” and not only is this, inexplicably, your second live album but it sounds just as boring and shitty as the first one — “Alive 1997.”

Repeated tracks and title ideas between the two aside, the actual mixing between songs and newly added elements is nothing beyond the realm of decent DJ-ing.

I guess there are only so many ways you can offer overlong, repetitive, rave songs that are designed purely for the benefit of ecstasy-fueled, H&M-clad teenagers.

Leave modern dance to the young folks. While I have no problem with dance music and actually do enjoy Justice, Chromeo and the rest of the new school of electro-pop delights, you aging, faux-cyborg Frenchmen are still just a bad joke gone horribly awry.

OK, so maybe I’m being a little harsh. There are a few Daft Punk tracks I like and they don’t seem to be out to convince everyone they should forget about guitars and wear homemade space helmets instead.

Their sudden new-found relevance deserves some consideration though. It seems to be another in a list of examples — like Band of Horses appropriation of alt-country, or The Killer’s recent Springsteen aping — we can attribute to the increasingly short life cycle of musical trends, thanks in most part to the Internet. Instead of taking a few years new ideas are being assimilated and regurgitated in a few months.

Blogs and daily music sites (such as PitchforkMedia.com) have replaced the likes of Spin and Rolling Stone magazines as the tastemakers, so now we’re going day-to-day instead of month-to-month.

This is by no means a bad system, but it also requires a new approach. More information means shorter attention spans, which means a tendency to start repeating ourselves much sooner.

How else do you go from totally played-out, irrelevant house music androids to hipster-approved, dance music saviors in 10 years or less?

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