Like danger creeping into the ‘plain and steady world of normal Hitchcock characters’, Random Access Memories from Daft Punk has slowly infiltrated our ordinary lives and firmly wedged itself into a spot on our life’s soundtrack charts. But it wasn’t easy. The love affair with the album has known many a false start.
Get Lucky didn’t quite do it for me. And I’m the main gatekeeper all music must get past if it wants to get lucky enough to enter the family realm. And Get Lucky was just not making the cut. Even the fittingly daft tribute by the Russian Police Choir could not disguise the sheer platitude of lyrics and melody. So I limited my Daft Punk exposure to occasional accidental encounters on the radio waves.
But then, just as accidentally, I encountered Instant Crush. That’s when the love story began. The appreciation was further solidified by the raggedy street dog charms of Julian Casablancas gracing the video of the hit on YouTube. I went on to discover the rest of the CD and studied it on repeat, and repeat, and repeat…
Soon after, the recording made its way to other family distribution channels: the car stereo, the CD player in the kitchen, and eventually even Norah’s Hello Kitty ghetto blaster.
The reception was quite favorable. Norah’s initial reluctant critic front did not hold for long, and definitively collapsed under the very persuasive flow of Give Life Back to Music, which became her favorite track.
This is the current distribution of favorites per family member:
- Norah: Give Life Back to Music
- Father: Within
- Mother: Instant Crush
- Anton: The Vacuum Cleaner Will Do
Being the sunshine and energy power house of the family, Norah couldn’t have chosen any other song. I hear her sing along in the backseat, in her broken English with an accent, that is, in all honesty, not much worse and definitely not less charming than that of the lead singer.
The father, possessing a clandestine melancholic nature and having the most professional appreciation for music (he studied piano, guitar AND accordion), wisely chose Within as his go to soul fueling stop. Norah often requests it too, because anything her daddy likes must be worth liking too. While attentively listening to the words, she discovered that just like the doors ‘the robot’ is singing about(“many rooms to explore but the doors look the same”), the ones in our house also ‘look the same’. She’s slowly developing an appreciation for the lyrical sensibility of the piece, while father is slowly trying to master the instrumental piano version. I know he’ll manage to surprise me with an acoustic cover some day at some random bar. I just know it!
Mother is a more frivolous animal. That’s why mother is not impartial to the stylings of Instant Crush. That song is just perfectly crafted. It’s the Louboutin shoe of pop songs. Not that I particularly like Louboutin, but the classic craftsmanship, attention to detail and seductive style is something that never fails to appeal to the masses. Besides, Instant Crush has been referred to as a ‘girl song’, and mother is a girl… last time I checked, anyway.
Anton has been known to groove to everything from the boiling tea kettle, to the dishwasher, to the humming sound of the server in the garage. So, although The Vacuum Cleaner Will Do is not officially on the album, if the whole album consisted of nothing but the sound of the vacuum cleaner, Anton would’ve savored it from beginning to end, on repeat.
I thought we’d celebrate our admiration for Random Access Memories by walking in a robot’s shoes. All we had was this banged up motorcycle helmet, which father damaged in an accident one dark and slippery winter morning. Naturally, Anton received the necessary assistance to keep his head from snapping off. That would’ve been really unphotogenic of him, indeed. So, no children were hurt during the making of these photographs. Just a little tortured to donate some of their precious time and energy, that’s all.