Quantcast
Get breaking news alerts via email

Click here to manage your alerts
Pharrell Williams, second from left, and Daft Punk accept the award for record of the year at the 56th annual Grammy Awards at Staples Center on Sunday, Jan. 26, 2014, in Los Angeles. (Photo by Matt Sayles/Invision/AP)
Grammy win for Daft Punk boosts French pride
First Published Jan 27 2014 12:28 pm • Last Updated Jan 27 2014 12:29 pm

Paris • They’re helmeted, mute and mysterious, and they’re suddenly the pride of France.

Duo Daft Punk did something no other French music group has done: Brought home four Grammy Awards in one night.

Join the Discussion
Post a Comment

Congratulations poured in Monday from French media, tweeters and bloggers — and even the U.S. Embassy in Paris. "See, France is capable of winning!" said commentator Jean-Jacques Bourdin on BFM-TV.

The multiple wins for the electronic music pioneers Sunday night were a rare bit of good news in France amid bleak reports on unemployment (stuck around 11 percent) and the president’s personal life (complicated).

The men behind the masks, Guy-Manuel de Homem-Christo and Thomas Bangalter, kept their French accents carefully concealed at the Grammys. The two, who only appear in public behind helmets, left it to Pharrell Williams to accept their awards.

While those in the French masses celebrate Daft Punk’s repeated trips to the podium at the Staples Center in Los Angeles, French officialdom has been strangely silent. Daft Punk’s work didn’t get a single nomination for the 2013 French music awards Victoire de la musique.

Perhaps that’s because, as critic Pierre Siankowski put it, "We have a problem in France with the mainstream." Something as universally popular as the never-get-it-out-of-your-head "Get Lucky" isn’t seen as "real art."

That wasn’t a concern for the Recording Academy voters, who handed Daft Punk and Williams the trophy in every category they were nominated in at the Grammy Awards: Album of the year for "Random Access Memories." Record of the year for funk-electronic anthem "Get Lucky." Best pop duo or group performance. And best dance or electronica album.

"Random Access Memories" also won for non-classical engineered album, an award that went to their engineer.

Daft Punk, produced by Columbia Records in the U.S., broke into the global sound consciousness with their 1997 album "Homework" and its hit "Around the World." They went on to win Grammys in 2007 for best dance recording and best electronic dance album.


story continues below
story continues below

Then, they reached for something radical: live instruments. Their combination of real musicians, R&B rhythms and electronic expertise is seen as the key to the success of "Random Access Memories."

Siankowski, the chief editor at pop culture weekly Les Inrockuptibles, isn’t afraid to be a fan, praising them for "intelligent music ... that goes against the grain."

And something about those helmets all over French TV on Monday looked familiar.

Henri Guaino, speechwriter for ex-President Nicolas Sarkozy, couldn’t resist drawing a parallel with the helmeted man pictured in a gossip magazine this month sneaking out of the presidential palace on a motorcycle to meet his actress paramour.

The magazine says the man was President Francois Hollande, a claim neither he nor the actress has denied. Guaino quipped on BFM that the images provided "good publicity" for Daft Punk.



Copyright 2014 The Salt Lake Tribune. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Top Reader Comments Read All Comments Post a Comment
Click here to read all comments   Click here to post a comment


About Reader Comments


Reader comments on sltrib.com are the opinions of the writer, not The Salt Lake Tribune. We will delete comments containing obscenities, personal attacks and inappropriate or offensive remarks. Flagrant or repeat violators will be banned. If you see an objectionable comment, please alert us by clicking the arrow on the upper right side of the comment and selecting "Flag comment as inappropriate". If you've recently registered with Disqus or aren't seeing your comments immediately, you may need to verify your email address. To do so, visit disqus.com/account.
See more about comments here.
Staying Connected
Videos
Jobs
Contests and Promotions
  • Search Obituaries
  • Place an Obituary

  • Search Cars
  • Search Homes
  • Search Jobs
  • Search Marketplace
  • Search Legal Notices

  • Other Services
  • Advertise With Us
  • Subscribe to the Newspaper
  • Access your e-Edition
  • Frequently Asked Questions
  • Contact a newsroom staff member
  • Access the Trib Archives
  • Privacy Policy
  • Missing your paper? Need to place your paper on vacation hold? For this and any other subscription related needs, click here or call 801.204.6100.