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Daft Punk Break Up (pitchfork.com)
1108 points by psychanarch on Feb 22, 2021 | hide | past | favorite | 432 comments

I remember the electric atmosphere in the auditorium going to see the film the Epilogue video is taken from, Electroma [1], on screen. It was only playing in a single cinema in the world in Paris and only at midgnight. So glad I got to catch that.

I am kind of glad to hear that Daft Pank is over and I say this as someone who their music means a lot to. The arc of their art is complete and there is nowhere left for them to go without it becoming forced, awkward or irrelevant: teenagers with attitude and samplers to elder statesmen recording with an orchestra.

As this is HN, does anyone remember their more interesting dives into technology: Daft Club [2] and the multi-angle DVD of D.A.F.T. [3]?

This quote [4] about Daft Club, and the state of music on the internet, from 2001 is really interesting in hindsight:

> It's great to find a new channel where there is an open access, open door to more, but not more than had to be done before. It's establishing a connection between people that listen to our music and ourselves. There's no limits of time, and it helps people get and listen to this music. A track that could have been done today can be online tomorrow. The other thing is to really express ourselves through the Internet.

> ...

> Napster is a cool thing with us. The important thing is to make a difference. Napster is a positive thing because it raises questions, it raises issues.

[1] https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0800022/

[2] https://web.archive.org/web/20020804191122/http://www.daftcl...

[3] https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0279758/

[4] https://web.archive.org/web/20070609232158/http://music.yaho...

I was a Daft Club member! I remember being made fun of when I was like 15 listening to Human After All, and people just not getting it. Daft Punk was the soundtrack to my hacker youth. I’m forever grateful and wish them the best in their retirement.

Daft Punk is what united my high school anime nerds with the “obscure” music nerds. What a lovely little merger we made. This would have been 1999 or so.

To be fair, Human After All is not their best record. ;-)

I meant Discovery hahaha

This makes me feel very old - I saw them on the 1997 Homework tour when I wasn't much older than that.

Not old, aged like a fine wine, full of boldness and good stories. I’m jealous!

I really, really was looking forward to the new Daft Punk music video, "Tron 3"

I always thought Daft Punk figured out the perfect solution to the how to be famous problem. Everyone recognizes their artist name and their artist costume, but virtually no one knows their real name or would accost them on the street.

I saw Don Schlitz[0] perform "The Gambler" at The Grand Ole Opry[1] last year (juuust before Covid). He said something like "Yeah, Kenny Rogers did well with this song, but I can still go to the grocery store without being recognized, and I still get paid when they play it" (or something to that effect). Funny guy, and a great singer too.



This essay [0] from Tim Ferriss really crystalized for me a lot about why fame is a drag.

  During my college years, one of my dorm mate’s dads was a famous Hollywood producer. He once said to me, “You want everyone to know your name and no one to know your face.”

  Taking it a step further, we could quote Bill Murray:

  I always want to say to people who want to be rich and famous: ‘try being rich first.’ See if that doesn’t cover most of it.
0: https://tim.blog/2020/02/02/reasons-to-not-become-famous/

I like that Bill Murray quote. But here's a Jim Carrey semi-rebuttal (I read it as mostly talking about the rich part): “I think everybody should get rich and famous and do everything they ever dreamed of so they can see that it's not the answer.”

Getting rich would absolutely be the answer to a lot of my current problems. Sure not every problem, but even for those problems it sure would help.

I'd have more control over my time (no need to work a day job I don't feel passionate about). I have issues with making doctors appointments and things because I still feel kind of awkward taking the day off, if I were rich that would also not be a problem because once you have fuck you money you can absolutely take the day off to go to the dentist.

I'd have more of an ability to set my own schedule meaning I could more readily do things like go learn a martial art or participate in hobby groups.

Like sure I don't think it would solve anything but it seems very much like an out of touch ultra rich thing to say. I don't think most people think being rich would make their lives perfect, just a lot fucking better than they are currently.

It's a great take from Tim and seems to ring very true. I just don't think people really think about what fame means. It's got huge tradeoffs and its mostly not fun but rather scary and unnerving. Eric Weinstein also seemed to run into this fairly quickly and has now stopped making his podcast because the fame part is mostly toxic.

> Eric Weinstein also seemed to run into this fairly quickly ...

No, I don't think so. Any blowback he's gotten is not from "fame" but rather his difficult personality.

It's a good thing he absolutely insists on being sesquipedalian, because it limits his audience.

He seems to fancy himself as Tech Faulkner; I'd rather be Tech Hemingway.

I know my comment isn't relevant but my favorite literary rivalry in history is definitely Hemingway and Faulkner.

Ironic you used that word as I can imagine it limited yours on this comment too. :-)

Oh God, I know, but it really is the perfect fucking word for Eric, whom I do admire, but find to be occasionally frustrating...

If Eric's brother Bret is as naïve about politics as Eric believes, then Eric is as naïve about word choice. Probably more so.

I'm so grateful there are people with the courage to stand up and say unpopular things. Weinstein is a human whose outspokenness I've been particularly grateful for.

Hasn't stopped him from being active on Clubhouse where he has close to 2M followers now.

Worst of all is being famous but not rich.

To qoute Paul Stanley from KISS when asked about what its like to be rich and famous:

"Well, I know what it's like to be famous but I can't tell you anything about being rich"

With an estimated $200 million net worth, he was faking it...

Steve-O from Jackass was world famous and pretty much broke at the same time after their first season.

Famous for being stupid at scales most people can't even imagine isn't exactly a ticket for richness.

The Jackass gang were, in their own way, quite brilliant I think.

It’s been a long time since I last watched them, but there was something special about the show and the movie.

It wasn’t simply people doing dumb things to hurt themselves.

It was more like, experiments to see what kind of crazy stuff they could pull off without hurting themselves too bad. That’s how I see it anyway.

It was also an insight into skateboarder culture.

And they were quite a creative bunch of people, often coming up with new things to try.

And on top of that they were good entertainers too.

I loved Jackass. I genuinely think it was a great show, and I think some of the cast were brilliant.

To say some of the cast members had issues though is an understatement.

Also to the GP - trying getting famous by being stupid. I'd say it's harder than getting famous by being smart. Instead of competing with a handful of geniuses you're competing with a world of morons.

Totally. That’s exactly what I think when I see people on reality shows get their fame.

sometimes, 15 minutes turns into a few seasons

Sometimes the greatest thing for many people is the ability to choose fortune over fame.

It's the fallacy of the C-list celebrity to realize too late that fame does not easily convert to fortune.

I think many people go out seeking fame as goal in it's own right.

Saw a podcast by the guy who played Lex Luthor on Smallville. He pretty much admitted to being a Narcissist who is addicted to attention. Good that he has self-awareness but many seek fame and attention without really understanding why they're doing it. Had a friend like that who was an otherwise wonderful person but her need for attention culminated in her being arrested for faking an attack on herself while hiking. It's a difficult need to control without awareness.

I guess it depends how rich you aspire to be. If you have a a million social media followers, it's trivial to cash in on that attention to the tune of hundreds of thousands of dollars a year.

According to this https://www.influencer.agency/instagram-influencer-rates/ it's ~$10k for a campaign from an influencer with 1M+ followers.

Make ten deals like that per year, that's $100,000k.

I don't believe those numbers (the site it comes from has interest in telling people that influencer marketing is worth much, so grain of salt.). But anyway, even if they would be true today, they won't hold tomororow because everyone gets more followers but not more attention. Also, it's a "winner takes all" market like all media. Still, if you're famous today I bet it's easier than ever to make at least SOME money out of it due to social media and the ability to cut off a lot of middle man.

You have to repeat that once a month to break into the middle class, assuming you have to pay for all your own healthcare, retirement, insurance, etc... What a dismal existence.

You mean once a month you have to make some social media posts? You conside that a "dismal existence". I know it's almost a cliche to point out HN users being out of touch with normal people, but have you ever had a real job that didn't involve sitting in a climate controlled office typing on a computer?

Despite the low effort though, being entirely reliant on online fame isn't exactly something with a lot of longevity built into it. Having 1MM followers this year is nowhere near a guarantee of growing or even keeping your follower base the next year.

$100K doesn't seem like a particularly amazing payoff for that. Most "real jobs" tend to become more stable and lucrative as you gain experience. I'd definitely prefer a job that paid $50K that I could at least somewhat rely on to exist next year over $100K that could disappear at any second.

Once a month you have to bust your hump to come up with crowdfunding so you can hock T-Shirts and sell enough to make a very modest profit.

You might be surprised how little of a “disguise” can make you unrecognizable. Shakira took a history class at UCLA and just by not wearing makeup and using her legal name Isabel, nobody recognized her (or if they did, they didn’t say anything). The “Shakira” you see on TV is such an artificial construction that someone seeing her without any of the artifice has no idea it’s “her.”

Agree. David Bowie once demonstrated it to a reporter. They walked together through Manhattan. No one bothered them. Bowie then said he was going to “turn it on”. Something in his expression slightly changed. And then he was mobbed by fans.

I've heard that story about Marilyn Monroe - but it has probably been ascribed to hundreds of celebs.


Honestly this just sort of sounds like Manhattan. The east coast vibe is certainly more of a “get out of my way” mentality.

You're probably right. If I'm remembering the article correctly, he would just put a bland hard face on. Wear boring & ordinary clothing. No one would pay him any attention.

in NYC or LA it's relatively common to see famous people but poor etiquette to approach them (but do please get out of the way)

Wasn’t that story about Marilyn Monroe?


The article I'm remembering was linked as part of an obit right after Bowie's death. I wish I could find it, but I'm apparently not coming up with the right phrase for Google.

I wouldn't be surprised if this is a common trait of celebrities. Wear a mask, literally or figuratively, on stage or camera. Take the mask off and you're just an ordinary person that no one else will notice.

Bowie talked about that mask here, and how he used it to face his fears:


Thanks! I think that is the one.

What a beautiful story. Bowie's invisible mask reminds me of the 'glamour' that fey creatures were imagined to have in the old stories. Puts the term 'glam rock' into new perspective for sure...

I’m sure when Bowie acted like the famous person, it subconsciously cued other people to treat him like a famous person. Act like a private person and most people will treat you like one. I’m not saying that this is a universal constant, or even the dominant explanation for what Bowie demonstrated, but there’s definitely something to it.

My local neighbourhood has its fair share of nationally known famous faces. I’ve never once seen any of them treated like a celebrity because they don’t act like one.

I think a bit of that is you don't expect to see someone famous just walking down the street. On more than on occasion I've passed someone and went "Was that.... naw, couldn't be" then found out later that yes, it really was that person.

The corollary to the S.E.P. field in Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy (SEP - Somebody Else's Problem Field - loved the concept for the ultimate invisibility cloak)

> I think a bit of that is you don't expect to see someone famous just walking down the street.

Even if you somewhat it, you don't really expect it.

One early morning at tourist area (where I'd already seen a few celebrities), my friend and I are playing Daytona USA and this sunglass-wearing dude comes down and sits next to us to play. He looks vaguely familiar, but I guessed I had just seen him there before — there were a lot of regulars at this arcade. I'm bragging, but not exaggerating, when I say we were world-competitive at this game. This guy was good, but we destroyed him.

After the race, the guy got up, smiled at both of us, said nothing, and left. My friend and I talked a bit about the race — a sort of post-race analysis we often did to see if there was anything new we could learn — and during that process it sort of dawned on us that we had just played against a NASCAR driver.

I think a bit of that is you don't expect to see someone famous just walking down the street.

This reminds me of a celebrity encounter I had once. I walked into a Gold's Gym in Raleigh, and saw a guy doing triceps press-downs on the machine right by the path to the locker room. I had to walk past to get to the locker room and as I approached I realized I was looking at Arn Anderson (professional wrestler).

I was a bit shocked and as I walked by him I did a double take and blurted out something stupid like "Tell me you're not Arn Anderson!?!" Of course he dead-panned the whole thing and just looked at me and said "I'm not Arn Anderson". By this point I realized it was absolutely him, but I was too awe struck to think of anything intelligent to say, so I just kept walking.

Probably about as stupid as I've ever come off in public in my life. :-(

The conclusion of the story though, is that he wound up in the locker room while I was still getting ready for my workout and I got a chance to chat with him for a while. We talked about the "good ole days" of Crockett Promotions / WCW and the 4 Horsemen, etc., etc. He seemed like a nice guy. I just regret forgetting to ask for an autograph.

It turns out, that gym is (well, was... it's closed now) close to the arena in Raleigh where the WWE shows take place, and it used to be common-place for professional wrestlers to stop in when they were in town for shows. That just happened to be the first time I personally met any of them.

I saw Mr.T at a networking conference in the late 90s posing for pictures for attendees. He was a hero of mine as a kid. I was star struck and couldn't think of anything to say, but I did get a picture. He was in a variation of his A-Team outfit.

I also saw Ed McMahon in an elevator a few months later at my shared office space. Something to the effect of, "Going up?" and I replied, "No down, thanks." Totally normal average Joe encounter.

Such a strange world we live in.

You might run into him in your data center, if you have Hitachi storage: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tW1S2tsxVHg

I got to sit next to Jamie and Adam on a plane from Phoenix to Atlanta once, everyone totally knew who they were because they were wearing their stage clothes and everyone kept bugging them (and by extension, me). They were understandably annoyed the whole time. I suspect if they had taken a minor effort to not look like their TV roles there'd have been far fewer people that recognized them.

They might have been annoyed to be traveling together?


Given their very characteristic facial hair, it would be extra hard for them to become unrecognisable.

I worked at a Best Buy which was the most easily-accessible location to residents of one of the most affluent majority-black counties in the country (that is to say, most of the county is not particularly affluent, but that it attracts a small proportion of extremely well-off individuals and families who want to be near DC and aren't spooked by the demographics). We apparently had several celebrities come through the store - some that I even directly interacted with or sold products to - but 99% of the time, I didn't even know they were famous until after they'd left (it happened enough that I developed a reputation for overattention to customer service, to the detriment of my ability to be aware and suitably star-struck).These included:

> A famous actress, who was just the warmest person ever

> Several rappers

> Several championship-winning athletes

> Michael Steele, who was apparently a Geek Squad regular

My favorite was probably the gentleman who I believe had been on the Cosby Show: he came in twice, both times to drop 5 figures on TVs. Dude singlehandedly saved my job.

I was in the shop the other day and I had a small ice block related interaction with a little kid. Then her mum turned to speak to me and it was one of the Orange is the New Black actors. Which surprised me quite a bit - even though I knew she was a regular at the shop. I wonder if she'd clocked that I recognised her. I think I hid it well though.

> I think a bit of that is you don't expect to see someone famous just walking down the street

I remember seeing the French ex-president in a retirement home (he was visiting his father) and I was thinking 'nah, can't be him, what would he do here' until I got confirmation from the people I was with that it was in fact him.

I’ll never forget learning that Sinead O'Connor had been recording in my hometown. Must have walked by her a dozen times and although I felt a “vibe” off her, I never pieced it together.

Peter Gabriel chilled out in Rochester NY (my home town) for a while. In an interview he mentioned that it was nice to be anonymous. Not sure what that says about my home town that nobody recognized him ;)

A lot of it is context as well… you see this in videos of world class violinists busking in the NY subway and everyone just goes along on their way and doesn’t stop for a minute to listen.

Celebrities on campus is likely also a much more normal thing at UCLA, USC and in LA in general.

Do average people really know any famous violinists?

Really undermines the title "hips don't lie"

LOL. The way she moves her butt is so distinctive that if she just walks like a normal person that’s a disguise of sorts.

I recognize alot of people by how they walk, from behind

I could see that being a disguise

Gait recognition is a thing, in humans and in ML.

Shame we're seeing places explicitly banning facial recognition rather than biometric recognition.

Facial recognition is being banned for law enforcement use not because it doesn't work, or is ineffective, or is undesirable, but because it reveals politically uncomfortable truths about who commits crime that existing crime stats were already pointing out in a less visceral way.

LOL. And reveals uncomfortable truths about what the law has defined as a “crime,” where killing one person in a $100 drug transaction gets you life without parole, while fraudulently marketing OxyContin as non-addictive while knowing it is addictive, thus creating the opioid epidemic that has killed 500,000 people to date, and hiring McKinsey to solve your “my drug is killing people” problem gets you a $3 million fine.

What if I told you that both things are bad, and that I want the perpetrators of both crimes to face proportionate punishment? There's no reason for one's critique to fall victim to a false dichotomy here, even if the American political environment tries to do that. Maybe it helps that I'm not American....

Killing one person in any kind of failed transaction is a bad enough offense that I believe you deserve at least a decade in jail. That said, I do believe in rehabiliatory justice, and that we shouldn't just throw people into an environment that's essentially some cross between a dysfunctional highschool and a networking seminar for criminals; but people who are willing to kill over $100 do not belong in public until they have proven conclusively that they have enough self control to be released.

The opiate epidemic, on the other hand, is a crime so heinous that it is nearly genocide-tier in nature. The perpetrators of such (i.e. the Sacklers among others) knew what they were doing, continually doubled down over time, and profited tremendously. Such parenthetical elites usually suffer absolutely zero punishment for their actions, nor is there any attempt to make rehabiliatory justics take on the challenge of so-called "white collar crime". At best, the perp learns how to hide their intentions and actions more, how to operate behind more intermediaries for abstraction's sake, etc.

Now, consider the topic at hand (which is somehow facial recog and not Daft Punk whom I loved dearly): what is the common factor here? It's simple: if you perform an analysis of the group memberships of the people who commit crimes in the aggregate, uncomfortable truths are revealed.

Maybe you just like punishment? Also Daft Punk, of course.

Errors in facial recognition software have already resulted in more than one wrongful arrest due to mistaken identity:



That's a pretty damning statement to make. Can you provide some citations to back that view up?

Without links ready, and not being the OP, I have seen many articles saying that "this ML recognition/analysis system has racial bias because the targets it finds are more {insert trait} than average." It struck me how such an unscientific thing made it to so many articles. It's a symptom of a cause that a specific group has greater representation in something, e.g. crime. You can't call factual observations, racist. You should rather find the root cause and solve it.

Well the “factual” observation comes from training data, which unless created in an unbiased manner creates a biased dataset and biased inferences. Unless you believe that American law enforcement is an unbiased process, in which case I don’t think I can help you.

> You can't call factual observations, racist. You should rather find the root cause and solve it.

People already know the root cause, and it is overpolicing and discretionary enforcement of crimes like drug possession.

The broken-windows policy has been disproven, despite disproportionately impacting "the specific groups" (black Americans) that now pollute the dataset that ML uses.

And even in the concept or drug possession and drug consumption, all groups have been shown to use them in the same distribution. For example. These kinds of things start a cycle that means the second and third minor infractions cause greater consequences in court, which further reduce opportunities that lead to the dangerous crimes being committed.

So we already know the dataset is polluted.

Pointing to the top of the iceberg and saying "well they commit the crimes no need to spend any energy on this mystery why don't we all just admit they're the problem" is a complete deflection promulgated intentionally and you should really check your peer group and media sources if this is the extent of the comfortable worldview you (or anyone passing by) have, the problem and solution is already known.

The solutions are being implemented in a patchwork and slowly, which is not incorporated in datasets that ML use, largely due to apathy and lack of awareness of engineers and the management of the tech companies involved, and lack of representation of the affected groups in engineering and management of tech companies.

> People already know the root cause, and it is overpolicing and discretionary enforcement of crimes like drug possession.

No, you've only pushed the root cause back a step by doing this. It's entirely possible to understand that the way we're doing policing is wrong without resorting to an artificial, borderline-creationist mindset on aggregate group behaviour. Religious thinking is not going to help anything here.

> So we already know the dataset is polluted.

The dataset reflects something approaching reality. If anything, it reflects a version of reality that is already attempting to artificially compensate for group differences in order to quell conflict.

If you want to change reality, if you want to see less crime, if you want to see truly fair policing, then admitting to reality is an important first step. You're basically arguing for "juking the stats" in order to find fairness, when in reality such actions won't stop people from getting robbed, murdered, or having lives that offer so few opportunities for advancement that they end up turning to hard drugs to cope. ML is not to solve this problem either way, but it can actively prevent the problem from being solved if it becomes yet another mechanism to paper over the actual situation and instead point the finger for responsibility away from where it belongs: with individuals and their choices.

Unfortunately, I have learned that there's no value in doing so, since anyone who has managed to be willfully ignorant of the obvious conclusions here that have been consistent for decades will not be convinced by anything I link to; instead, typically "shoot the messenger" techniques come into place. Anything 'bad' that anyone I link to has ever said will poison the well for any factual claims they make, etc.

It's a shame it has to be like this. There's plenty of valid statistical / demographic information out there that lines up perfectly with everyone's lived experience, but the conclusions drawn from it are not pretty. All I can say is that it is possible to make inferences without making value judgements; we can point at problems without having evil intentions and without suggesting tyrannical interventions.

and also picks the wrong people because the training set is polluted by the uncomfortable truths of overpolicing areas creating the bad crime stats

I apologize to UCLA for continuing to wonder if Harvard students would have discovered her.

I think that's part of the Kraftwerk play book that Daft Punk have previously acknowledged.

Obviously Kraftwerk's robots look like them to a certain degree, so Daft Punk have taken the on stage anonymity further but the anti-pop star thing is pure Kraftwerk.

There was famously only one way to contact Kraftwerk, via a phone at their studio with ringer mechanism removed.

If you had the number, only given out by their lawyer, you rang a preset time of day when the handset would be lifted... if you were lucky.

I love Kraftwerk's. Their remastered/remix Tour De France album (my favorite) is on youtube:


it is a great coding music

Several other musicians have done the same through mask wearing. Gene Simmons of Kiss was probably rarely recognized in public before, much later in life, he started appearing in television programs without his makeup.

MF Doom, Sia, the list goes on.

I remember reading a wonderful article of a guy running a recording studio and being excited because Kiss is coming to record there.

Then 4 normal looking guys show up and he's like "Oh right, they don't dress up like that all the time".

DOOM (all caps when you spell the name) even had other people play sets for him because the mask worked so well (according to rumor and REALLY convincing video w/audio)

I've seen some "MF DOOM" sets that were clearly not him under the mask.

This was parodied in The Good Place when an obvious parody of Deadmau5 payed others to wear his mask on stage since the audience couldn't tell anyway.

Deadmau5 himself has parodied it live: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y7tI1E6kp0o

I'm having trouble finding the article now, but he said that later in his life he had lost quite a bit of weight so when he did do his performances himself, people didn't believe it was him and got mad.

Gorrilaz don't even both with that, just animation

Damon Albarn was already famous by then.

It took me some time to discover that Gorillaz was his band.

That's a great proof of talent, isn't it?

His talent for obfuscation, you mean?

Gorillaz definitely benefited at bootstrap from being "the new project by Damon Albarn of Blur".

No, I mean people being drawn to the music, not the famous name (even if the famous name helped promote the band)

I wonder if this is a 2021 view of Gorillaz possibly being more famous than Blur at this point. Though, for sure there were plenty of contemporary Gorlillaz fans who didn't know anything about Blur.

Gorillaz have always been more popular than Blur in the US at least, where their only hit was Song 2.

And Song 2 broke only because of the infamous FIFA game, I guess... although they actually recorded that album in the US.

In Europe (UK but also elsewhere) Blur made it big with "Girls & Boys" (#1 in UK, massive hit). The chorus was an absolute meme where I lived.

Not necessarily. I got into Gorillaz when “Clint Eastwood” was popular here in the US. Had never heard of Blur. Didn’t even learn about Blur until years and years and years later, when I realized Damon Albarn had done something before Gorillaz and looked them up.

Gorillaz are a virtual band. The humans are just their avatars.

Not everyone who wears mask ends up sticking with the anonymity though, I can imagine the pull of fame can be irresistible for some. Deadmau5 for example. Others have managed staying hidden just by not appearing anywhere, like Burial.

Pretty sure burial once tweeted a selfie to say he was taking a break from music to play diablo or something

It was Dark Souls 2 but yeah, it was kinda hilarious, since it was basically the first time we ever heard directly from him or got an "official" selfie in almost a decade of him making music, and it was just to say "I'm not sure if I will have many new tunes for a while because I need to play that game a lot", even though he already had the reputation of not putting anything out for long stretches of time. It was so bizarre.

It is hypothesized that Burial made a little guest appearance at a James Blake boiler room set: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p8idi7PcsbU

It definitely looks like him, but who knows.

For reference, it's the guy in the black hoodie on the right side for the first third or so. Also his song plays at around 6m in, and you can see him rolling a join a bit later, hah.

i'd always imagined burial was a side gig for kieran hebden / fourtet .. got ridiculed by everyone i mentioned it to in confidence .. they were right

Best way to announce a tour break ever.

Tour break? I don't think he's ever played live. Maybe anonymously. Kode9 sometimes plays his new songs but that's it.

I have no idea, I’ve only heard songs, no sets. Good to know!

Had to google Burial.

My hipster inspection is way out of date.

He is pretty "famous" in the underground dubstep scene (and by dubstep, I mean the original UK 2-step music, not whatever it became in the 2010's. He's always been enigmatic and hidden until that one post out of nowhere, releasing music through his friend/record company Hyberdub.

Semi-related, but one of my favorite satire posts of all time: https://www.thedailymash.co.uk/news/celebrity/jk-rowling-rec...

Next time you find yourself alone on a gloomy drizzly night, throw on Untrue and walk through the streets for a unique experience.

Can't forget The Residents[1] - they were/are instantly recognizable (as eyeballs in tophats, that is) but had a rotating crew inside the masks.

1: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Residents#Identity

Taken to the extreme I've heard the Blue Man Group is more a franchise than theatre group which recruits the the personnel for their shows locally.

bucket head: A guitarist with a bucket mask.


Who's this guitar playing sonzabitch?"

Is a question common asked

On his head a bucket of chicken bones

On his face a plastic mask He's the bastard son of a preacher-man

On the town he left a stain They made him live in a chicken house To try and hide the shame

He was born in a coop, raised in a cage

Children fear him, critics rage

He's half alive, he's half dead

Folks just call him Buckethead!

The Unknown Comic on The Gong Show, with a paper lunch bag over his head.



Sia was face on during most her first years

she did some amazing work with zero-7.

Honestly I can't fathom her solo career, the zero seven era was so brilliant. I'm happy she gets some wide recognition, wealth and comfort, but musically she is off now. Her gamut is trimmed it's all loud and no subtlety.

Holy cow, I didn't know until your comment and I subsequently looked her up on Wikipedia that she's the vocals on "Destiny"!

Enjoy the others man, worth your time and ears

Good idea to make it anonymous, that way you can swap out your friends when you get sick and tired of performing.

Consider The Residents - a 4-person musical group with eyeballs instead of heads who have been anonymous for about 50 years!


Neil Peart of Rush went on a 50,000 mile motorcycle trip up and down North and South America and he said he wasn’t flagged down a single time.

I suspect it has more to do with the fact that when he wasn’t actually being (arguably) the worlds best drummer, he wasn’t in people’s face and making himself known. Running into a random dude on a motorcycle in Wyoming, or sitting in the corner of a coffee shop reading a book, most people would never think “Rockstar”.

Of course Gene Simmons, Mick Jagger or even Geddy Lee all have very distinctive faces so they are kind of screwed in that regards.

I mean, they are both well known artists with other projects in their own right. They even published songs with their real names.

If you wanna talk "you have no idea who this is but an incredibly prolific artist", I want to put forth Max Martin [0].

[0] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Max_Martin

It's very easy to be prolific without being famous haha.

It's hard to be famous without being famous, which is what Daft Punk pulled off.

Sure, but Daft Punk is almost a household name. Even people that don't listen to their music probably know the name and the helmet. Their personal names are mostly just known to fans.

Wow, that's pretty incredible. Thanks for the good read!

Bowie used to ride the nyc subway all the time, his secret was a trench coat and hat and he would carry a Greek newspaper.

Then again Jerry Seinfeld said: There's no downside to fame and people who whine about it make me sick. It's the greatest thing in the world.

Based on what I know about Jerry Seinfeld, he seems pretty good at setting hard boundaries for himself. It seems he's uninterested in pleasantries and burdens that come associated with fame, and has, maybe uniquely, been able to avoid being foisted into situations beyond his control.

I would assert that being famous is a skill that not all famous people develop, thus the disparity between those who shun fame and those who don't think it's a problem.

Fame is probably great for people who really have their shit together and are confident in themselves, like Jerry Seinfeld. For people who don't have their shit together, it can magnify and provoke even your most minor weaknesses. If you aren't confident in yourself, you can end up maladjusted, surrounded by the distortion field of fame. Elon Musk would probably have continued to be a cooky, but fairly level headed dude. But now he's richer than Bezos and the power has corrupted him. Who's to tell you what's wrong when you make exponentially more money than even the 1%?

I like Jerry Seinfeld, but he (or at least the persona he plays in public) has this habit of being unable to put himself in other's shoes.

I think it depends on your personality. It probably suits some people much better than others. An example is Kurt Cobain who hated being famous and felt trapped by it.

UK readers over 50 will remember how the Wombles pulled this off in the 70s. A huge series of hits performed by basically a bunch of furries.

The legendary Mike Batt!

It is really quite common for musicians to have such stage names and stage personæ.

What I find rather interesting is that if one search for Mafumafu's face, what one obtains is his virtual avatar, a nonexistent character by which he repræsents himself in most instances, and one has to add keywords such as “real” to see his actual face, — which is all the more interesting since he's actually quite beautiful and clearly puts quite a bit of effort into his appearance.

My favorites are, of course, the black meal artists who only go on stage in theatrical makeup under stage aliases such as “Necrobutcher” and “Zhaaral”, whose real names and even genders are often unknown behind the makeup.

There are at least a few stage acts that are like this, at least two dance acts that I can think of.

It also permits one to hire additional stand-ins and perform in multiple places at the same time.

Missing from this is 1) They are not handsome guys and that is a real factor (you don't have to be pretty, but it's hard to to be ugly) and 2) They are way to old looking to have inspired their most recent hits. Kids won't go for that.

I know this is some very hardcore marketing realpolitik but this is it.

Sia covers her face because she's not pretty, not because 'it's art'.

Adele's albums are closeups of her face not anything else, because she's attractive there, that said, she always wore herself well enough it didn't matter that much.

One of the few 'not good looking' is Ed Sheeran, but he's at least young, he's not going age well in front of the camera, it may not matter that much.

Google 'famous singers' and they are all quite attractive. Shawn Mendez and Justing Bieber are both one in at least 10 000 attractive. The ladies it's much harder to tell because of their makeup.

What would have made this much more interesting is if Daft Punk decided to actually 'replace themselves' and just let others take on the helmets. If they really wanted to milk it they could have gone for 'multiple versions' i.e. a standing show in Vegas, NY and Duabi or something with stand-ins. That's completely selling out but hey. There are possibly some legit ways to do that, like actually getting extremely talented producers and artists into the masks for a while to help kick of their career. They could make some really nice PR out of a culty thing like that.

Blue Man Group is slightly different but I would not recognize any of them on the street either.

Who they are changes based on who is performing in what city.

It didn't start that way in NY, but now they have that option precisely because nobody can recognize them, right?

It's great I can go to New York and watch many of the original cast but it is also great I can find them in London, Toronto, Vegas, probably Toyko.

Who they are can change as long as they look and act the same. It brings down costs and allows the creator to scale.

It's better than plays because shows in different cities will have different actors and everyone knows.

But you do lose the ability to promote based on individual people. And for plays that can be a huge draw. Stars will bring people.

Think of how much bigger blueman group coull be if each had a different personality. Perhaps a cartoon could have been made.

And it’s been continued, to an extent, by folks like Deadmau5 and Marshmello.

I wonder if any groups have stand ins ready to don the mantle for live performances if there were ever, for whatever reason, a double booking.

Totally agree. Never understood why people would like that other type of fame when you cannot walk anywhere without drawing a crowd. At some point the only people you can truly hang out with are other extremely famous people.

ZZ Top figured this out a long time ago.

I recently found this video of Billy Gibbons performing in the street in Helsinki without anyone noticing. I like that he becomes less recognizable when not wearing sunglasses.


It works well if your act allows you to get away with it (fellow Frenchman Danger also has a headpiece). I don't think anyone really knows any of the members of Ghost aside from the main guy.

Best Daft Punk show I ever saw was Lollapalooza with LCD Soundsystem opening on the nearby stage. LCD Soundsytem closed with “Daft Punk is Playing..” and Daft Punk emerged in a pyramid and absolutely melted our faces.

I went to a Phoenix show at Madison Square Garden last-minute with a friend in 2011. After Phoenix played a 3 song encore, the stage went dark and then a DJ booth lit up in the back, way above the stage, and Daft Punk walked out and they did an ~8 minute remix/mashup of Harder Better Faster and Phoenix's 1901. One of my favorite concert memories ever.

I'm extremely jealous of that show, both Phoenix and Daft Punks are my favourite bands, it must have been something.

I was working at a startup on 7th ave and 30th st at the time. Big fan of Phoenix and Daft Punk. Found out the next day I was merely hundreds of feet away from that beautiful surprise.

2007 alive was my personal favorite set from them. They mashed up quite a bit of their all time tracks into absolute bangers.

I'd argue that it's one of the best live albums of all time.

These songs transcend what I'd consider mashups, it's like they treated all of their olds songs as samples, rebuilding entirely new songs out of them. It took some of the more obscure songs and made them "whole"; take Steam Machine, which in of itself wasn't that great of a song...a bit boring if you will. Combined with Too Long and it's now a song full of energy and tempo.

There are many others like it. What they mostly have in common is taking the best ingredients from the fringy Human After All and the glitzy Discovery, finding a very interesting common ground.

I happened to catch them both in Madrid (Summercase) and Miami (Bang) in 2006.

It's not often I'd travel to watch the "same" show twice. That was a nuts setlist and show period.

Especially since my going to Madrid was via hearing about it from a hotel concierge and "Hey dad, I know we're here for your business, but can I go to this music festival, across a city neither of us know, that speaks a language I can maybe passably bang out?"

Bless non-helicopter parents. :)

Will your dad adopt me?

Unfortunately, I think he's happily retired from child rearing duties, and I know he happily spends most of his time fly fishing in Wyoming. ;)

"Fly Fishing in Wyoming" should be the title of Daft Punk's retirement album.

It's such an evocative phrase.

(although it would cause confusion with the band "Trout Fishing in Quebec").

It was amazing to see them live. Caught the London show. Here's my video from the night: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MLA7L60sCr0 (the shaky blurry videocamera footage ages it).

I really wish there was a studio version of Alive 2007.

I've thought that myself before, but having listened to it so many times I think the audience cheers are as much as a part of the album now

Totally agree. There are two or three distinct shouts from someone in the audience at the beginning of Around the World / Harder, Better, Faster, Stronger that are now part of my experience of listening to it. The audience is absolutely part of the energy of the album.

I've always wondered what the guy is shouting. Is it something in French, or just "Wow"?

For us french, it makes this song really weird, he's basically shouting the F word in french.

...I should’ve known better than to ask :)

All I would want out of a studio version is it panned to centre so that I could listen to it through headphones.

I agree, went to the Alive 2007 show in Amsterdam. Fantastic!

I saw that at Lollapalooza and it one of the best shows I have ever seen.

I thought it was so cool afterwards to see a bunch of people covered head to toe in blue body paint like the aliens from Interstella 5555.

Do you know what year and/or city this was? I would like to look this up

Don't know year but lolla is always in grant park, Chicago.

It is now, but wasn't originally. It was a touring show the first half dozen years until it went on hiatus. When it was revived in the (mid?) 2000s, it became a solo Chicago event.

It's touring again. At least outside of the US. I was at the one in Stockholm, Sweden two years ago. It was supposed to come back last year, but you know...

wait Lollapalooza is a real event? I honestly thought the simpsons episode made fun of the music event scene

Yep. Used to have some pretty awesome lineups too.


It’s very real and even expanded to other countries over the last decade.

Wow. You must be really young, or from a sheltered lifestyle. I remember skipping school to attend the first couple of shows, and then continued in college. Seems to my memory that the 'palooza festivals re-energized the whole music festival concept, as there were many more annual festivals that came through town after. I still have the t-shirts that I can't wear, but refuse to throw out.

Or maybe not living geographically and/or culturally close? Or does that fall under sheltered lifestyle.

I don't live anywhere near Glastonbury, but I'm fully aware that it is a real event. I'm at least in the same country as Miami, but have never attended the WMC, or the Grammys, or iHate Radio events in Vegas. I was a wee lad when Farm Aid occurred, but I was aware that it was more than a reference in an animated TV show. I've also been able to read music 'zines and websites without being geographically near any of them.

So yeah, sheltered or at the least, thoroughly uninterested in music as anything more than just something in the background. Willing to admit, I have a much more intense interest in music, so I do read/listen to things that would be considered history to something compared to anything performed before Taylor Swift.

I feel xkcd's Ten Thousand[1] is appropriate here.

[1] https://xkcd.com/1053/

The word 'sheltered' is still misapplied here.

How so? Having never experienced things outside of your "comfort zone" or your upbringing seems like the culturally accepted definition of sheltered. Whether that was overbearing parents never allowing you to listen to music other than prescribed by religious beliefs or parental personal preference or just one's own personal preference all seems like sheltered to me. Being culturally unaware of events that occurred outside one's personal experience might be stretching sheltered a bit, but maybe it's the more polite term. People unaware of what came before yet was very influential of what's occurring now also seems to me to work with sheltered. Whether that's in music/film/any form of art, or even political/cultural/programming/etc.

Willing to stipulate a bias in that I'm a dork that always wants to know the how/when/where/why/who of anything in which I get involved.

Different people are into different things. Some people are really into music and know all about many music festivals around the world. Others are into board games and know about board game conventions. Others are into e-sports and know about all the tournaments to go to. Others know everything about a sport or sports league.

Not being well-versed in the others isn't necessarily being sheltered, but a consequence of having a limited set of interests.

All this to say it’s somehow necessary to know about the palooza to not be sheltered? Why would the bar for comfort zone be going to popular events of a specific niche?

There’s many influential things that won’t matter to individuals. It’s not possible to know about all influential things any way.

The only way to even perform about bigger paloozas is to be a big name. Being a big name doesn’t mean influential. Someone could be very into specific influential music that doesn’t overlap with palooza events.

I’m sure any one who’s geeky into pop media like music, film, tv, can look at your history and call you sheltered under your constraints. Meaning everyone is sheltered to some others based off your meaning of sheltered.

Those Somalian kids that might not know (gasp!) about Lollapalooza sure are sheltered then.

If only they had the courage to get out of their comfort zone of war and poverty, and just witness a mediocre first-world yuppie music festival, then they would realize how relevant Ariane Grande is to their human condition! "Can you stay up all night", Burhan? "F* me till the daylight. Thirty four, thirty five", Burhan. Come on.

Or those 6 billion non-English speakers, who don't have the common decency to just learn English and our culture! From however those countries are called.

It's all that sheltering! And we are being polite here, by stretching the word "sheltered", and not calling them out for so stupidly not conforming to our anglo-saxon-centric world view!

As Homerpalooza taught us, music festivals are terrible, and are all about big companies turning rebellion into money, so who cares if someone doesn't know the names of them.

If you can name a single Australian music festival that I've been to without googling, I'll pay $100 to a charity of your choice.

Tell me that you've been to the Byron Bay Bluesfest. That one is on my must attend list...

Golden Plains

Big Pineapple

Future Music Fest

Yours and Ours

Falls Fest

Rainbow Serpent


Splendour in the Grass

Listen Out

Saint Jeromes Laneway Fest

Groovin the Moo

Byron Bays Blues


Any luck?

I'm not even on the same continent

I see that you also went to college somewhere between 2004 and 2008

This completely sucks. I had a bucket list item to see them live. Definitely my most listened-to artist ever.

Best of luck to their next endeavors though, I hope they both continue to make music.

Both artists are under 50. I would not be at all surprised if you get the chance to see them perform together again.

And with the added advantage that as they are electric they'd sound as good in the future as they did in the past. You wouldn't even know if it wasn't them under the masks.

The counter point being that I saw Velvet Underground live and they sucked badly :D

I saw Guns’n’Roses at a festival in 2012 and ho boy did Axl Rose not age well. The Slash impersonator was kinda odd too – obviously great guitarist in his own right, all he needed was to own the fact he’s not Slash.

I'm guessing you're referring to DJ Ashba? One thing about GnR is they always had talented guitarists.

Yea Axl's voice definitely isn't what it once was. Corey Glover (Living Colour) is another singer from that time period whose voice isn't the same.

I went to a smashing pumpkins show and was so turned off that I stopped being a fan. I have met several others with the same experience

The Pumpkins were my absolute favorite band in the heyday of 90s alt rock/grunge. I saw them once in St. Paul during their Adore tour, and it was amazing. But something about their music just didn't seem to age well with me - which very well may have been my tastes changing versus the band. I don't know. Machina didn't click, and I never really got into Zeitgeist or Oceania. I did buy Rotten Apples and enjoyed it immensely, but it was their older music.

Whenever I watch one of their music videos on YouTube, it's very bittersweet. I still love their older work - MCIS and Adore are absolutely wonderful. But it's the universal story of losing your adolescence.

I didn't really get into Daft Punk until the early 2000s, so my context was very different. I'm still sad to see this breakup, but I guess I don't feel it the same as SP. Funny, that.

I guess it's another example of "when you got into a band" as seen throughout this thread. Saw them at my first "big" concert at Lollapalooza 1994. 17 years old and it was the coolest crap I'd ever seen.

Gish is awesome and Siamese Dream will always hold a special place in my heart, but I always felt like Mellon Collie was the start of Corgan's long, slow descent into self-indulgence. If Siamese Dream was their Appetite for Destruction, Mellon Collie was Use Your Illusion (two parter at that!) I guess you could do worse, though since both are solid.

And I guess Lies would be analogous to that album with the Stevie Nicks cover.

Yep, very similar experience here. I find listening to music from that time period just makes me melancholy (err...no pun intended), so I mostly avoid it now. I'm not sure if this is because it brings me back to that time, or if it's the general mood of the music itself...probably both. I guess it makes sense that the music of a given time would reflect the general mood of the people coming of age at that time.

I don't know where else to go with that thought...ah whatever. ;)

EDIT: fix typo, because of course

Smashing Pumpkins were the best in the early nineties. Gish and especially Siamese Dream are great albums. I saw them at some festivals around then. Amazing.

I still get chills when I hear the guitar intro on some of the tracks from those albums.

I saw them during some of their later tours and though they were great gigs, I think I had drifted away from their music and in fact the whole scene. I was getting into electronic music in the late 90s.

What was the issue? Was it the length of the show, the aura of Billy Corgan (and his horrific aesthetics), renditions that somehow made the original versions worse?

Guy was obviously talented but I don't think he's the best judge of his strengths. There's a couple of songs from Adore and Machina where the music videos manage to make the songs drastically worse for me.

You pretty much nailed it. This was on the Melon Collie tour.

I saw them play Mellon Collie too. Did they play their > 25 minute version of XYU? Christ, everyone but Billy Corgan was bored 15 minutes into that but it just kept going and going and going...

Since I don't go to live shows, I tend to just have the disappointment of finding out that I only like some of my favorite bands' albums, because the arc of their own musical careers doesn't match my own tastes.

Why can't performers just stay the same forever, producing a never-ending sequence of similar but distinct works?

> Why can't performers just stay the same forever, producing a never-ending sequence of similar but distinct works?

Because they're artists. Even the record company-manufactured acts consider themselves artists.

On a human level, they're already performing the same pieces of music thousands of times - in rehearsals, concerts, recordings. It must get incredibly tedious after a while. You want them to write the same type of music all their lives as well? You monster! :-P

Some do! Some don't.

There is one English psychedelic outfit I like called "Ozric Tentacles". Every album is pretty much identical. And it turns out that I really like that album, so I have bought it ten times over the years, plus a couple of live albums.

This happens in part because whenever the people behind Ozric Tentacles want to make something different from their trademark sound, they'll usually put it out under another name. If you go to their site right now the front page advertises recent albums from two different side projects with even sillier names than "Ozric Tentacles".

(The Ozrics are far from the only band to do this, they're just the first example that comes to mind.)

There are other bands I like where every album is something different. King Crimson, for instance, is a different lineup for pretty much every album. Same bandleader, some people return to perform in multiple incarnations of the band, some are only there for one album and some tour dates. I love some of their albums and some are flat for me. I'd still grab another one if I heard that Fripp had declared that the current assemblage of musicians he was working with was an incarnation of King Crimson, because the albums that work for me work really well. If it's a dud I just consider it a down payment on the next hit.

Despite having seen them live a few times, I only own one Ozric Tentacles as I figured there’s no need to buy any of the others. :)

I always figured that the members got their musical satisfaction from their side projects. Thought I haven’t listened to them in years, I actually preferred Eat Static which was formed by two of the Ozrics. Similarly, another band I listened to at the time, System 7 was formed by members of Gong.

This was around the time I was discovering what’s now called “electronic dance music”. As a music listener, EDM was much more exciting and interesting than much of the guitar-based music in the mid-nineties.

I envy your live experience, I've only heard them on albums!

I mean, there's the odd band I like everything of (eg, Jethro Tull), but other times either the "new stuff" isn't "right", or -- when I come to a band late in their career -- I work backwards only to discover I don't care for their early stuff.

I always found it amazing that Deftones managed to change their sound with each of their 9 albums over ~25 years, never fell off quality-wise* and never alienated their fanbase (even if some of those releases weren't 100% to everyone's taste).

It's very rare for a group to avoid the "churn out crap" stage of a musical career.

> Why can't performers just stay the same forever, producing a never-ending sequence of similar but distinct works?

Foo Fighters recently released another album.

I always thought Foo fighters were pretty great. I listened to them a lot in the 90s. I looked up their best hits a few years ago, and I was shocked by how many incredible songs they have.

They headlined Glasto a few years ago. It’s an amazing gig, I watched it on YouTube, really incredible interacting with the crowd, some really special moments.

There are some genres where that happens, but if you don’t like those genres, you’re out of luck.

A good live performance from an artist like that is all about visual and rhythmic synchronization with the lights and the dancing audience and about live EQ and effects tuned to the sound system in the venue. So no, it won't be the same.

If you get utterly fucked up with perception altering substances it won't really matter though.

It feels like they're also prime candidates for making a tour with them as actual robots (or holograms), so they wouldn't even need to tour themselves.

one just fucking exploded! did you not see that!?

This comment made the thread for me.

I didn't go in the past because I'd heard their shows had a rave-like atmosphere. I have no idea if that's true, but it put me off. But maybe I won't have to worry about that so much when I'm one of a bunch of middle-aged people at a reunion concert by Daft Punk in their 60s.

There are plenty of videos of Alive 2007 on youtube if you want to see how rave-like they are.

Probably the best live gig I've been to.

What’s wrong with a rave-like atmosphere? Live a little.

Some folks don't like to deal with a swarming mass of tweaked out people. They just don't.

As someone who survived early 90s acid house and rave culture in the Bay Area, people falling over, spilling things on you, or being rambling goofs for hours on end had a limited life span. Frankly, a mosh pit was more comfortable, because there you at least KNEW what was expected and how to counter.

While many raves are like that, many others are not. I do agree that the ones that are like that are annoying. But I wouldn’t not go to any rave-like scenes just because it may end up that way. I’d lose out on too much, personally.

The tour kinda writes itself - call it the One More Time tour, and prior put out a video rebuilding to the tune of Technologic. I am sad, but not sold I won't get to see them live eventually.

I wouldn't discount the possibility of one-off reunion shows in the future, provided they parted on good terms (and that's usually the case when a band has been together 20+ years)

(FWIW, I was very smug that I got a ticket to one of LCD Soundsystem's goodbye shows. It was awesome. They reunited a few years later, released albums and resumed touring ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ )

Phil Collins did a "First Finale Farewell Tour."

Then followed it with a "Not Dead Yet Tour."

Tina Turner has had quite a few "last" tour. And I'm sure there are plenty more. People can always change their mind.

Eventually, everyone needs money again.

Not Bill gates, if he stops to pick-up money he loses money.

I get the joke, but the literalist inside me wants to always point out when I hear this that it's not as though he stops being the founder of Microsoft in the few seconds he stops to pick up money.

He doesn't lose money by picking up money. It's more than likely less than the daily market fluctuation of a single stock of MSFT, but stopping to pick up money doesn't interrupt or halt his income in any way.

Well he pressured oxford into not open-sourcing the vaccine. To him, that is probably a quarter on the ground.

I've lost count the amount of Rolling Stones "farewell tour" concerts I've been too.

I too have gone through this with Nine Inch Nails. You said you were done Trent!

Maybe my biggest concert regret is not seeing the Alive tour. Game changers.

It was my very first concert, and honestly I probably didn't even appreciate it enough at the time (though I loved it), due to lack of perspective and being a teenager, but wow did I get lucky :)

Don't mean to twist the knife, but I saw them live and it was one of the best concerts I've ever been to :).

I've seen concerts with better music in small venues (DJ Spooky), I've seen crazier concerts (BHole Surfers) and more sensory beating ones (Chemical Brothers), but never one that was such a blast as theirs.

Came here to say this. After missing 2010 I set aside some money so that if a concert was announced anywhere in the world I could drop everything and go. Sadly it doesn't look like that will happen now.

I feel the same way. I think I've listened to Discovery hundreds of times.

With any luck there will be a reunion within a decade or two.

I was in the same boat. Just never seemed to be in the right place. 28 years is an incredible run.

I think they probably knew they had a bit of an issue in terms of live shows in that they had a pretty divergent audience it'd be very hard to please. It was already a bit of a marvel how well they combined their three albums into one show in 2007 and they were still pretty firmly a dance act at this stage (which I'd say has blurred a lot since as Discovery and RAM become increasingly dominant over Homework in mainstream recognition)

Outside of doing seated gigs (ie something very firmly to set the tone in advance) I'm not sure how you could clearly set a tone that wouldn't upset a large portion of the audience. I'd skip a seated gig for sure.

Plus the demand would be off the charts. Horrifically expensive tickets bought maybe a year in advance. That'd be a lot of pressure to include hits that may not fit very well in (e.g. thinking of how Digital Love was left outta the 2007 show, which was absolutely the right move)

I remember the first time I heard and saw the "Around the World" video. It must have been summer of 1997(?), when MTV still played music videos and they played the "weirder" ones late at night. Was poking online at stuff and had the TV on in the other room and I heard this weird (as in different) song come on, head to the other room to see that strange music video and I was immediately hooked. They only showed the artist at the beginning of it, so I had to stay up another 2 or 3 hours until the entire segment repeated itself to catch who it actually was.


I remember very vividly the first time I listened to Daft Punk. I was maybe 16 years old (circa 2003) and was one of the first times I was traveling without my parents. I was on a skydiving trip with my instructor and crew. At night, there was a big party at the DZ, and at a certain time the DJ dropped "One more time".

I was talking to someone and went "wait a second, I need to do something". I walked up to the DJ booth and asked him "Man, what is this song you are playing?!"

He smiled, pulled up a CD cover for Discovery and said "Congrats, you have been daft punked".

Such a powerful track... it kickstarted my passion for house and EDM in general.

"I had to stay up another 2 or 3 hours until the entire segment repeated itself to catch who it actually was."

Ah, the days when phones were on the wall with a cord too.

At least MTV did still play music back then. And the record industry wonders why file sharing sites took off? I loved limewire because I could find songs I liked, then I would grab everything else that person had and I discovered so much new content - I bought more CDs than I ever would have otherwise simply because I discovered stuff I didn't even know existed. I still haven't found anything that could match that discovery experience; it's kind of crazy really.

It's crazy how Youtube is the MTV of our dreams. If I could have had access to just the music videos on Youtube in 1995, I would have thought it was the greatest invention in history.

I still remember when MTV started where I was living, it was a very big deal for teenage me.

I had a similar experience with 'Da Funk', which was released when music videos could still break out an artist: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mmi60Bd4jSs

It was so weird but not enough to be off putting - it just made me want to learn more about who would do this. Delightful!

Part of me is always quite envious of people who cleanly close one chapter of their life and move on to the next.

I feel a deep respect for people who experience their 15 minutes and then choose to leave it or move behind the scenes rather than searching for that next addicting dose of fame.

Folks go on to become producers, directors, stage actors, video game voice actors, music label owners, teachers...

It always seems like an interesting story that I would love to know more about, and yet I feel that the act of learning more would itself tarnish their shift, and I try to respect them by digging no further.

Even if it's longer than 15 minutes, you've got to call it at some point, otherwise it just gets kind of sad.

I'm a bit of a classic rock / prog rock fan. These bands are getting old, and they sometimes have staff changes as a result of band members dying of old age. Went to a Yes concert recently and have kind of mixed feelings about it. It's like Steve Howe and a backup band. I mean it's great that these older artists "still got it" and want to keep doing what they love, but from the point of view of a fan, maybe it's best to call it a day when your best work is firmly in the past.

Like watching Metallica play corporate events and kick over stools.

> Even if it's longer than 15 minutes, you've got to call it at some point, otherwise it just gets kind of sad.

I wonder if that is part of why they called it off. Maybe they've created all of the music they could both come up with? Maybe the creativity tank ran empty?

More like 25 years of fame. :)

I bet a lot of artists develop a drug problem, hit rehab and recalibrate.

The Strokes comes to mind.

I think I read that the lead singer made the best music when on drugs but has since gotten clean. Unfortunately, the music he/they made sober wasn't as well received critically? Something like that.

It wasn't the lead singer (Julian Casablancas) who had a drug problem, it was the guitarist, Albert Hammond Jr. He wasn't any better when he was on heroin, though; the band started out without it.

The Strokes mainly just hated each other after they got famous. Angles, their fourth album, was famously recorded without Julian ever being in the same room as the rest of the band.

Same, I think you have to be really mature and self-aware as an artist to know when it's the right time to quit.

It would have been nice of them to do a world tour one more time.

But of course their break up is probably due to a disagreement between the two of them so it wouldn't have been possible if they don't want to spend time together.

Isn't job hopping the norm in the tech industry too? I can't imagine staying at a company for 28 years.

I don't believe it yet. But I can see the logic. They're kind of in a Half Life 3 situation with regards to Random Access Memories. At this point, there's almost no way imaginable they could top it, and anything they do come out with will probably be compared unfavorably.

I absolutely did not expect another album, at least not anytime soon, for precisely the same reason (well, I didn't put it in the hl3 metaphor). But this official breakup announcement still breaks my heart, despite not even having listened to them that much.

They could have just left their costumes standing, as the gleaming pop-house god reservists that they are (except while temporarily leaving reservist status) and silently move on to doing other projects, as they've always done.

Really wonder what triggered the announcement. My guess is either heavy disagreement, perhaps about retiring the bots and continuing as Thomas and Guy-Manuel, or the total opposite, becoming aware that they were likely fading out of those roles forever and deciding that the bots deserve to go with a bang.

Also wondering what it is - my money is on them wanting to go their own way, which they've done in the past while keeping the robots going (they put out a lot of solo material in the late 90s / early 00s) - but I guess it's different this time as its been so long.

I just want new sample-based music. Fancy synths and orchestras sound awesome, but IMHO they are almost unmatched when it comes to chopping up samples and making incredible, emotional, catchy music out of it.

I don't know how much meaning you can take from the farewell video. But, to me, it looked like one of them couldn't go on anymore.

The farewell video is a clip from a prior work of theirs circa 2006, so I'm not sure how much can be translated from the clip to the real world circumstances behind the breakup. Of course, their selection of this clip to make the announcement in lieu of anything else could be construed as some sort of statement. Part of me wants to know everything, part of me prefers the mystery.

Good point. If, hopefully not, it was something like a sudden health issue, sampling that movie scene would be the single most awesomely daft punk way to announce it.

I thought RAM was already on the downturn. They peaked with Discovery and Alive 2007 in my opinion.

RAM felt producer nostalgia based, legend namedropping and such. The daft spirit was gone to me.

I mean, it’s basically the album version of “Teachers” off Homework :P

Alive 2007 is my absolute favourite. I often think that 2007 remixes are better then the originals.

I remember my mind was blown when i first heard #3 Television rules nation / Crescendolls, when it transition back to Television with a drop... absolute masterpiece of electro music

I always felt RAM wasn't so much a downturn, just too different from their past work (which was the reason I liked them so much).

I suspect the reason is the duo simply wanting to do different things. After all, they've been Daft Punk for almost 3 decades.

Human After All was already on the downturn.

To me RAM sounds like an Air album, not a Daft Punk album. I don't consider that a bad thing though.

I thought I was the only person who thought this. Greetings thought sibling. Also not a bad thing, I like Air just fine but I expect an Air album from them, not Daft Punk.

The Tron soundtrack on the same order as Discovery and Alive 2007. Felt much more like Daft Punk than RAM, IMHO.

Everyone has their own opinion on the content, but RAM won the most prestigious Grammy Award. From a recognition perspective there's not really anywhere to go but down.

Grammys are a joke. In 2014 Macklemore’s album “The Heist” beat out Kendrick Lamar’s “Good Kid Maad City” for best hip hop album.

Please, it hurts to think about.

To be honest, I thought the (secret?) purpose of RAM was to give them good material for sampling so they could release other album.

I genuinely feel like listening to Discovery on my discman on the bus in high school helped define who I am as a person.

On the one hand I find this news horribly disheartening, on the other hand I am thrilled to see them go out on top. They have never had a bad album, and I’m my opinion they only got better as they went.

Godspeed you beautiful robots.

Oh man. Discman on the bus. Those words punch me right in the memory.

Likewise, I had a period of time listening to daft punk’s discovery that was fairly transformative. It completely, with no exaggeration, overhauled my understanding and appreciation of music.

100% carrying around my prized possessions, discman + CDs or minidisc, was pivotal to who I am now. And always with me was Daft Punk's Discovery. At that age, the songs felt long but in a good way. I couldn't wrap my head around the undulating changes and how it they made music. I also love Homework but Discovery has been a top album for me since I was 12. Veridis Quo captured my imagination and was a big influence which I believe led me to enjoy artists like Sigur Ros.

Guessing the numbers on your username to be significant, we’re of the same vintage.

Discovery, Radiohead’s Kid A, and Bjork’s Vespertine defined my late teens - an age that basically defined my musical tastes.

It’s interesting how music does such an amazing job of worming itself into your brain.

Haha, you're speaking my language. Kid A was just as high impact as Discovery. What a beautiful album.

I agree. Those songs are so deeply ingrained in me that if I heard 100ms of them I could probably tell you which song I heard. I can barely remember how to pour myself a glass of water some days, but that music is deep in my brain.

> I genuinely feel like listening to Discovery on my discman on the bus in high school helped define who I am as a person.

In high school my backpack had a small zipped pocket at the top specifically designed for a CD player. You ran your headphone cord through a gasket into the pocket, keeping your player safe and convenient. As a loner, it was splendid.

And then you always wished you had a CD player with just a _little_ more buffer so it wouldn't skip when you were running to class.

I remember in high school spending my money on what was probably the best portable CD player on the market, the Panasonic SL-SW890 [0]

Pretty sure the target audience was runners. It had a strap on the back so you would attach it to your hand, and near the hinge was a hard slightly-rubbery plastic with little indentations for your fingers. It was incredibly comfortable to hold.

And the skip protection was absolutely top-tier. By some kind of magic, the laser could read the disc at any arbitrary speed up to some limit. It didn't just handle bumps, but weird sudden rotations that would change the speed of disc rotation relative to the laser. I think it claimed 40 seconds of skip protection, but I would jostle, spin, and bump it for 5 solid minutes and no skipping.

And the way the thing close made it very difficult to accidentally pop it open. Drop it, throw it, it's staying closed.

Of course, I paid for all that ruggedness. I think at the time, most portable CD players were around $75, and I think I paid $150 for it. Of course, this was over 20 years ago so my memory could be wrong.

Pretty sure I still have that player in a box somewhere.

[0] https://www.amazon.com/Panasonic-SL-SW890-Shockwave-Portable...

Well, I guess we still have M83 and Carpenter Brut to supply French synth awesomeness, but I'll really miss Daft Punk.

And N'to, Worakls, Danger, Justice, French79, Kavinsky, Jean-Michel Jarre, Air, Birdy Nam Nam, Gesaffelstein, Perturbator, SebastiAn, ... French electro is doing well.

A lot of the Ed Banger crew don't appear to be releasing music anymore as far as I'm aware.

Not quite sure why you answer that to my message since the only Ed Banger in my list are Justice (last release in 2019) and sebastiAn (2019 too). The others I listed aren't part of that group.

Not quite sure why you couldn't have just said, great news, Justice and SebastiAn have recent releases. I'm obviously a little behind :)

wow great collection of names to checkout!

This live set is just a delight all the way through: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ikRvoa9p-SQ

I'm envious of both his gear and the talent to use it so well.

Ooh. Thanks for this! RAM is my favourite, and this really appeals to me. May I recommend back; Betamaxx has a wonderful 80s nostalgic sound: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MB5mRTkJmFA

Is Air still around? Still probably have my copy of Moon Safari somewhere.

Random Access Memories sounds more like Air than Daft Punk imo. People should definitely give their discography a listen if you liked that sound.

Nothing released for a while. Nicolas Godin is releasing some solo stuff

Add Etienne de Crecy, Phoenix, Cassius (though Zdar died not long ago), Justice, Mr oiso and Sebastian to that list


if you like Carpenter Brut, I recommend Perturbator, especially the album The Uncanny Valley.

New Model is severely underrated. His best, in my opinion.

Don't worry the relève is here : https://youtu.be/CpdKWPrGxpk


Carpenter Brut...


Justice were seen as the heirs to follow in Daft Punk's footsteps after their debut. They kinda lost it after that though, IMO.

I strongly suspect that they just chose a different creative direction, somewhat more ballad-y. But their latest live-esq album "Woman Worldwide" (styled "WWW") from 2018 shows that they still can make incredible dance/disco electronic music of the same caliber and energy as 2007's 'Cross', but they chose to pursue gentler sounds in their studio albums.

It makes me suspect that their live shows are much more true to their 2007 energy than their studio albums might lead you to believe.

I went to a festival in recent years with Justice closing saturday night and can absolutely attest to this.

Justice live is a blast, they album really lives with their lighting and the way they are mixing.

I wonder if they tried to create something better than Random Access Memories for the last 7 years only to find out that it’s the best to leave it at that high note.

There used to be a real energy to French electronic music. Between Daft Punk, Justice, Something a la Mode, Madeon, David Guetta, C2C, Joris Delacroix, Birdy Nam Nam, etc.

Now I feel like the scene is mostly American. Any modern French electronic artist?

> Any modern French electronic artist?

You mention Madeon which I think is more like "electro pop" or "nu disco" (I don't like that term but hey) so maybe you'll like the following if you don't know them...

Agar Agar:


or Kid Francescoli:


or, more on the chill side, L'Imperatrice...

"Erreur 404": https://youtu.be/eyk-Sliy8RU

and say "Parfum Theremine": https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5Ksp63RJuaU

L'impératrice are fantastic! Melody's Echo Chamber are worth a listen too

I go on French electro kicks every now and then.

Feels like I'm giving away the secret sauce here but try French 79, Kid Francescoli, Sébastien Tellier, L'Impératrice, or Isaac Delusion.

Forget modern. Electronic music peaked in the 90s and there's still loads you haven't listened to. A couple of suggestions:

Blue Planet Corporation - Blue Planet

Art of Noise - The Seduction of Claude Debussy

Gesaffelstein is bringing an innovative sound, Brodinski was interesting at some point. Look for Ed Banger Records, they lead a bit the French Touch.

* Flavien Berger (Mars balnéaire , Leviathan,888888 and many more )

* L'Impératrice - ( A View to a Kill, many others )

* Busy P ( Il fait chaud - Busy P Remix by Corine )

Busy P still making music? That's interesting, he's obvi as old as the members of Daft Punk.

I was at a club in Tokyo 2 years ago and Pedro played a set for a couple of hours there.

Later on that night, I saw him on the other room’s dancefloor soaking up an 8 hour set from Laurent Garnier. He’s in it for the music.

And used to be their manager till 2008

Tchami, w/o a doubt. Check out the other artists on his label CONFESSIONS too


Breakbot, Ed Banger Records roster in general.

Roosevelt? He’s like audio antidepressants.

How about Carpenter Brut?

Étienne de Crécy is one of my faves.

Kazy Lambist

Worakls is phenomenal.

Pan and Polo!

norwegian, but Lemaitre

petit biscuit

If you haven't seen it already, I highly recommend Interstella 5555: The 5tory of the 5ecret 5tar 5ystem (2003).


I’d encourage anyone who might just know them for “Get Lucky” to go back and do a full play through of the discography, Discovery and Homework were really watershed albums, particularly notable at a time when house music was driven by singles/EPs on vinyl and few were putting together full, cohesive albums.

I thought Get Lucky’s quality was more a reflection of Pharrell and Rogers’ talent than DP. The rest of that album was a whiff.

That said, GL the song and video were great and no hiding the string of classics. I remember hearing Around the World on the radio for the first time and pulling my car over. I was in high school.

A few notes on this video:

1. I wonder if this was delayed due to the bomber in Nashville. Still seems almost too soon.

2. Obviously has black rock vibes, looks like one continuing on to the mythic show at the trash fence.

3. Suggests one member wanted to keep daft punk going, where the other had enough. Otherwise I would have expected a mutually assured destruction.

The symmetric hands around the dates suggest amicable closure prior to conflict of ruin, which would be for the best in any partnership.

> The rest of that album was a whiff

Aww. It's no Discovery, but I quite like RAM. More than Human After All, anyway. "Contact" and "Giorgio" in particular are stand out tracks to me.

I tried to get into the Giorgio tracks. Certainly appreciated the nod but the album was marketed as a banger and felt left in a lurch apart from GL.

Fwiw, I felt set up by the early marketing hype on the tractor-trailers in Japan, which I thought inaccurately portrayed what was to come.

Word is that their manager has stated that the annual Trash Fence show is the only thing that'll continue, as it always has.

Hah, Get Lucky is the only song I skip on the album, overplayed for me.

Good thing I saved this 20th anniversary (very well crafted) post from Pitchfork in 2013:


Was an amazing thing to scroll through in 2013, and actually holds up well in modern browsers.

Great duo.

Interview of them in 1995: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GQmVdGvoQXk

if anyone is nostalgic for the days when French electronic music was emerging, I recommend the Mia Hansen-Løve's movie "Eden" (trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2lIzEL9BoDc)

> I wouldn't discount the possibility of one-off reunion shows in the future

I don't think Daft Punk are the type of artists to screw over fans by creating "Last Show Evarrrr" and "Final Reunion Tour (It's serious this time)" type shows.

> I would not be at all surprised if you get the chance to see them perform together again.

People seem to be ignoring the meaning within the video. The way he clenches his fist before the explosion. The solitary walk into the sunset.

I would not be at all surprised if one of them was terminally ill.

The footage is taken from a film in 2006. I don't think that meaning is there. Even if they were having some type of health issues, I doubt we would know, at most probably some type of announcement after a death. Agreed on your first point though.

It's an excerpt from their movie Electroma https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0800022/ . I really don't know if we should look too much in the meaning of the scene.

When I was young, I would often visit my neighbor's house to play with legos or watch stop-motion lego videos on YouTube. One day I went over and his older sister was hosting a party where her and her friends all watched Interstella 5555. I don't think I've had a more culturally mind-melting experience since then.

I didn't rediscover Discovery until Tiesto's "Louder Than Boom" in a Tap Tap Revenge brought me into the world of electronic music. While many genres fell in and out of my taste growing up, electronic (and eventually French House in particular) never once faded. I'm infinitely thankful for Daft Punk and their art which has long been and will long be my chosen soundtrack for life.

I love daft punk and had countless nights in college studying, gaming, and coding to their albums. I will continue to love their music but totally understand wanting to move onto something new after almost 30 years :)

Best of luck to them in whatever they move onto next

> gaming

I used to play HL 2 while listening to Discovery, I know, kinda weird, and now every time I hear songs from this album I have HL2 flashbacks. Somehow these are some of the most vivid memories I have, I can still see the screen and the in game scenes

I had this same feeling with SNES games and Diablo 2 and stuff I listened to when I was 10 till 14 (especially with System of a Down). Took me years to disassociate then. Not that I wanted, but it happened eventually.

Anyone see them when they were doing parking lot shows around the upper Midwest at the start of their career?


The song Teachers calls out a bunch of Chicago house music artists in tribute and was their motivation for starting their first "tour" outside of France in that area.

I still remember seeing the Alive set at a festival in France. They were headlining but I didn't really care about them anymore back then. I went to the concert anyway as it was the last of the night. The whole show blew my mind! The stage, the lights, the mashups that made the old songs feel like new and made the new songs don't feel so new. I can tell you the 30+K people attending the concert that evening were almost all in trance during and after the show. I cared again about them after that!

I also remember listing to the live record (which is the Paris recording if I'm not mistaken) after it came out and it was very different of the one I saw. So definitely some live creation happened during that tour, or some in-between sets work maybe (if you don't believe in magic).

Side note and personal opinion, I think "Veridis Quo" would be the perfect soundtrack for this announcement, and is one of my all time favorites of them. Here's to a bright future for both of them hopefully!

There's a couple bootlegs of various showings of the Alive 2007 concert, and they're all noticeably different. I imagine the 1997 sets were even more different, back when they were a bit more experimental. Cool that you got to see them, I never did :)

Indeed, just went to see if I could find the show I saw, and I could [0] (though the footage is terrible). Just the use of the Close Encounters of the Third Kind sound at the beginning gives me goose bumps again!


This whole time I thought they were working on a new album. Very sad to see the end of this legendary duo.

Don't be - be excited for whatever projects they turn to next.

DP were great but in the second half of their career what they were good at was continuing to cultivate their mystique and their image. That in itself is quite a hard thing to do in the way they did it. Kraftwerk and only a few others were able to be that famous and also faceless, cool and unique at the same time. I think I ended liking the "idea" of them almost more than their music weirdly. Musically they haven't pioneered for many many years. Everything after Alive, ie. half their career, was mediocre at best. They sustained a very high level of fame and influence through quite a small number of great songs and an amazing image, long after their prime in the late 90s / early 00s.

Anyway, au revoir to a legendary group nevertheless.

Bands don’t seem to break up as often as they used to.

Bands don't seem to exist as often as they used to - everyone is a solo artist or a dj or a producer now

This is very true.

Band-as-a-service. Can't kill the cash cow!

They were one of the bands that opened me up to electronic music. I was into metal and grunge, but electronic music just didn’t seem like music to me. If there weren’t music instruments I didn’t want to listen to it.

I saw them at a festival, I guess it must have been around ‘97. I got to the stage a bit late and made my way to the front. It was loud. Like really loud.

The speaker stacks each side of the stage were ridiculously big. I got to the front just as they started playing ‘Around the World’, they had a bunch of dancers on stage dressed up, maybe as robots, and when the beat dropped there was an invisible wall of sound that passed through my body from head to toe to the beat of the music. It’s one of the first beat drops I remember experiencing and thinking wow.

It’s difficult to describe in words. The air around me literally was shifting more than the depth of my body, so it felt like an invisible wall of air/sound passing through you. And of course the whole crowd started dancing like it was going out of fashion. I’d never experienced energy like that at a gig.

I was pretty much into electronic music after that.

Just as I was listening to https://youtu.be/zhl-Cs1-sG4 :(

This poses an interesting question to me: Daft Punk is a kind of meta-band, in that it’s members are not necessarily real people. For a more clear example, we can take The Gorillaz, a band made up of cartoon characters.

So what does it mean for such a meta-band to “break up” when they only existed during concerts and on records. Does that mean the people behind it won’t make more music? I sure hope not!

Nah they had pseudonyms but they came out as real people for sure. They didn't create characters for themselves as they would have if they'd intended for others to take over the role

Fair. Instead of a meta-band, it’s more of a shtick, where they said they were robots, then made an album called Human After All where they sound like robots. A bit like the games the White Stripes played with Jack and Meg’s relationship, but still not in meta-band, or even perpetual band territory

It's like GWAR or Slipknot. They like to dress up for (limited)anonymity and some extra flavor.

Many music artists use different names for different projects - they're very rarely "real people".

Only tangentially related, but The Archies were topping the charts all the way back in the 60s: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sugar,_Sugar

I feel like the artists/celebrities/directors who publicly announce that they're quitting usually end up coming back in a few years... Director Miyazaki comes to mind in more recent years.

Those that actually "quit" just quietly drift away out of the public scene.

I don't understand why they do it so publically. Have they felt a lot of pressure and this is the way to put an end to that? I haven't followed them closely, but RAM are many years ago. Have their been a lot of rumours about their next project lately?

I remember that ‘Da Funk’ was played daily on MTV somewhere in 1995-1996. I was 10 years old and did not know the artist but loved the sound/beats and the strange video with the dog character walking in the city.

A few years later I (re)discovered their music and went to the Alive 2007 show in Amsterdam, Heineken Music Hall.

During the show, they also played “Stardust - Music Sounds Better With You”, which was also produced by Thomas Bangalter.

The ‘Stardust mix’ has only been released on a limited edition (disc 2) of the Alive 2007 album:


Edit: it seems it is on Spotify. Not so limited anymore. :-)

Oh damn. I grew up on these guys. I first heard a song from them in 99 I think, and started listening to them a lot more during my time in the military.

Human After All, Veridus quo, and that one love song were a few of my favorites. Still listen to them whenever I feel down or just need something uplifting to listen to.

Their songs always made me feel happy. They're great.

I feel like it's been a while in coming, but I assume they're breaking up simply because they're getting older, and probably want to step out of the limelight.

Daft punk is great. Like robots from outer space coming to bring a bit of joy in the world and leaving it better than when they first came.

No reason was given, "epilogue" could be wrapping up one part of their story, and the date of the announcement was 2/22/21. Makes me think it's a marketing stunt.

They're a duo. Keep an eye on 2/22/22.

Instant Crush on Random Access Memories pretty much sums up how this makes me feel.

If curious, past threads:

Recreating Daft Punk's Da Funk with Overtone and Leipzig - https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=11446223 - April 2016 (98 comments)

Aerodynamic by Daft-Punk in 100 lines of code with Sonic Pi - https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=11033953 - Feb 2016 (69 comments)

Daft Punk Lego Minifig raytraced in your browser. - https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=7550736 - April 2014 (2 comments)

Daft Punk’s “Get Lucky,” explained using music theory - https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=7491174 - March 2014 (1 comment)

How Daft Punk Created One of Their Most Famous Samples - https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=7011035 - Jan 2014 (94 comments)

Daft Punk Didn't "Get Lucky" When It Created This Summer's Biggest Hit - https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=5996054 - July 2013 (82 comments)

Desire for Daft Punk's iconic helmets creates cottage industry - https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=5770913 - May 2013 (12 comments)

Anatomy of a Mashup: Definitive Daft Punk visualised - https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=2595277 - May 2011 (13 comments)

Guy crafts a Daft Punk helmet in 17 months - https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=1539509 - July 2010 (22 comments)

Daft Punk is one of the first band websites I remember — sitting in my college computer lab on a candy colored Mac. IIRC, it was a few “space men” on screen, and when you hovered over them it played sample loops.

If you're not aware, check out Interstella 5555: The 5tory of the 5ecret 5tar 5ystem. [0]

This is an animated movie set to the album Discovery. No dialogue other than the music of the album. Done by Toei Animation, a notable Japanese animation studio.

You may have seen the music videos for One More Time and Harder Better Faster Stronger. They were just part of a full narrative arc.

[0] https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3Qxe-QOp_-s

> Done by Toei Animation, a notable Japanese animation studio.

The animation was also overseen by the manga and anime legend Leiji Matsumoto [0] (famous for Captain Harlock, Galaxy Express 999, Space Battleship Yamato (Star Blazers), others). According to the Interstella 5555 Wikipedia page [1], Daft Punk wanted to work with Leiji Matsumoto because Captain Harlock had been a big influence on them when they were kids.

[0] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Leiji_Matsumoto

[1] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Interstella_5555:_The_5tory_of...

I’ll miss them, but they’ve made some terrific stuff so far, and I’m sure it gets hard to maintain that same level of passion indefinitely.

Best of luck with whatever they chose to work on next.

My brother was their lighting designer for the Daftendirektour in 97, so I got to see them play the Cambridge Corn Exchange, and experience a very mellow backstage. IIRC there is little footage of the tour because they actively discouraged any concert photography (not just fans, but also press and other professional). If memory serves my brother had some photography done for his portfolio, I should ask him if he still has it.

Wow sorry everybody. I almost feel responsible. Just this past weekend I really discovered them for myself “for the first time.” Like I’d heard of them before obviously but their music didn’t quite click with me until recently. I really feel like I missed out on some good times. I will continue down this road though. So glad for their music! I can tell it’ll be with me for a long time running.

Anyone else think it ironic that they announced their retirement by blowing up out on the playa "by the trash fence"

Their early work seems to when from mid to later Chicago house. There's some definite influences in their pre helmet days. But the fantastic Frenchness further transformed their work into samples and meta samples and eventually the amazing soundtrack for Tron legacy. Bravo for a fantastic oevre and thanks for all the beats!

One of my regrets in life is not going to Alive 2007 because I was young and none of my friends wanted to go with me.

I purposely didn't go. Still don't regret it. I was a fan since before Homework was released - and before they had the robot get up. When my friend told me about the Coachella show in 2006, I was admittedly pretty excited. But I checked out an early Youtube clip and thought it was sort of ... lame.

The pyramid / Close Encounters concept was amazing. But there was nothing live - nor 'alive' - about that show. Compare this to what they were doing in 1997, when they were actually remixing 'Homework' in real-time with an ingenious midi network of synths, samplers, sequencers, and drum machines - and the 2007 era just seemed to pale in comparison.

Even the late Phillipe Zdar was not into it - and told a mutual friend that 'It's just a light show'. I feel like he appreciated what I did about the audacity of that Alive 1997 era.

With all that said - I'm pretty sad to know that they're no longer doing their thing.

Ditto. My "home" venue is Red Rocks. I got invited but I didn't feel like it and didn't want to spend the $50.


I was 35 and didn't go. I have no excuse.

For anyone who hasn't seen "Interstellar 5555," it's basically an hour long anime music video all backed by Daft Punks best early hits.

Here's a link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3Qxe-QOp_-s

What is it about Daft Punk that gets one of the largest threads I've seen on HN? I find them utterly unremarkable. There's an absolute wealth of electronic music, mostly from the 90s, that Daft Punk is derived from. If you like them then check out Ishkur's Guide and explore more!

I put my baby to bed on the rocking chair patting his back to the Tron soundtrack, bass is great for babies!

I heard this story which I’m not sure is true but could very well be. Apparently two guys claimed to be Daft Punk in Ibiza and racked up massive bills everywhere before splitting. Needless to say that didn’t make them very popular there before everybody figured out what had happened.

Doubt it. These guys played Ibiza plenty in the 90s. People would know.

My favorite band in my youth. Revolutionary music. Time to play the vinyl once again.

I was lucky enough to see them live at Sankeys Soap in 1997. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p_NVjNC2ZjA Was a great night ;)

Loved Discovery and a couple of tracks that they released once every 7 years. They were basically already retired anyway so it's not really sad when they aren't releasing anything anyway

Sounds like they re-mastered or even re-recored touch at the end, really beautifully remixed. I'm gonna miss DP a lot, huge huge fan. Thankfully Kistune is still putting out a lot of good music.

I wish I could play the ending of touch slower so it lasted even longer. It's one of those songs that tells a whole story without words.

Link to the Epilogue video (why couldn't pitchfork link this?):


It is there - scroll down.

I found their last few albums to be rather weak, lacking innovation. Who knows, maybe in a few years after a break they can get back together with a fresh mind and produce something great.

They've recorded a total of four albums (five counting the "Tron: Legacy" soundtrack)

I feel like Alive should count even though its not new material. It's so good and different take on their own tracks.

Congratulations, you found the "everything they did after Homework sucks" snob.

I think it's a little more complicated than that. Human After All was widely panned on release (and in my opinion remains very hard to listen to), but then was "rehabilitated" by the Alive 2007 live album. And Random Access Memories always felt like it lacked the energy of their earlier work, sort of like lounge music. Just one opinion, but not necessarily snobbery.

I know that music taste is subjective, but Random Access Memories is a masterpiece.

I think a lot of people were expecting more of the electro that they pioneered and got turned off by the heavy disco influence.

Electro / disco is not the right dichotomy, as their music has always sat at an intersection between genres. Homework, Discovery, and Human After All are all heavily sample-based, and there are like 1 or 2 samples on all of Random Access Memories. That is the big difference.

I think it goes deeper than that. They practically defined the 2010s electro genre, with heavy use of aggressive synthesizers, drum machines, and vocoders for nearly all the vocals. RAM was cleaner, more understated, and very, very slick. You could be forgiven for thinking it was a completely different band. Of course all interpretation of musical genre is subjective. :)

Which is (in my opinion) "innovation". An innovation not everyone agreed with.

Instead of sampling from the 70s, they used artists that created music during the 70s.

It probably depends on how old you are. When I was rounding out my 20's and still going to clubs, Homework dropped, I listened to it so many times (but looking back, that album was kind of inaccessible to most unless they were already techno-heads). And then 2001 and Discovery, which I'd personally consider their magnum opus, and everything after that is just kinda meh for me except for the TRON remixes (which figures, since I'm an 80's kid).

I upvoted you because people shouldn't be downvoting you for having a different opinion. People, downvotes are for low effort comments, not because you disagree!

I always felt like 'Contact' was a goodbye in a larger sense. I hoped they would do the new Tron movie soundtrack, but I guess that honor is going to someone else now.

Shit. I just learned all the lyrics to Around The World!

Were they really ever together? Did they actually even exist?

Nobody has mentioned this, but Alive 1997 is the perfect work album/session/set, whenever I need to produce a “pomodoro” I play that album.

Break up? Probably more like retirement. 20+ years man.

Am I the only one who think calling it "Daft Punk Break Up" means it sounds like a bitter parting of ways, rather than them retiring?

Saw them at Even Furthur in 1996 and they melted everyone's mind. One of the most amazing musical wow moments I've ever witnessed.

Always remember going to clubs in the US around the turn of the century and this was so popular. “One More Time” was played at every club.

I ask the DJ to play an underground Italian new wave minimal electro duo... Of course he doesn't have it. I settle for Daft Punk.

i was really hoping with daft punk always pushing the envelope that they would come out with some VR type experience or something really off the wall like controlling the music on stage with one of those neural brain links. basically become one with the machine! but maybe it's another few decades until that kind of technology well be ready

I liked the rawness of their first record. After that their sound became more pumpy and digital and I just lost interest.

Maybe there'll be a Stardust reunion.

Funny thing, I was listening to the Tron Legacy soundtrack as I was scanning HN headlines and saw this headline.

Just like many other bands, officially "retire", get bump in press and music sales. Leak a "story" about the rift. Solo projects or hiatus. Then "Reunion" with a come back project and mega tour. If they were really finished we wouldn't hear.

I just played the Epilogue video. My dog freaked out; she has a sad now.

Don't worry, they'll be performing at Burning Man 2021

afaik they were not very active anyway; not like they were touring often. the break up only makes sense if one of them wants to do something else

I suddenly feel much older.

They usually wear helmets. Hire stand-ins and don't tell anybody. (Did I say that out loud?)

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