Thank you, Daft Punk, Thank you, iTunes

Dear Daft Punk-

I offer you my profound thanks for providing me with an experience I never imagined having, nor did I ever conceive of needing to have.

Shortly after hearing your song “Get Lucky”, I realized that its two primary hooks had become indelibly etched in my brain and could not be dislodged, try as I might. In spite of this, I further realized that there was absolutely nothing about the song which generated any kind of resonance or emotional connection between myself and it. This, in turn, initiated in me a profound experience of what therapists refer to as “cognitive dissonance”. To elucidate, I was confused by the fact that on one hand, I was completely attracted to what I was hearing, and yet, felt completely disassociated from it. The song could be on my mind constantly and yet, I neither cared to physically listen to it and had absolutely no desire to purchase it. Eventually, disassociation evolved into disinterest.

I had never before encountered such a profound and unique disconnect with any music in my life. The only parallel I could draw- however remote- was with the myriad of high school crushes I experienced as a teenager. These would regularly arise with a ferocious ardor and shocking immediacy from out of the sheer ether. They were almost always directed toward random girls with whom I had absolutely nothing in common and the object of my infatuation would generally become transformed into the object of my utter revulsion before the week was out.

Still, this had never happened with art and never, ever with a piece of music.

In the past, I would have found it impossible (and inconceivable) to separate the musical appeal of a song from its ability to resonate emotionally with me. In theory, this phenomena would not only render a work of art immediately disposable, it would also render it completely and immediately irrelevant, in a sense, entirely negating it.

With “Get Lucky”, you have taken this notion from abstract theory to concrete actuality. Yours is a feat I’ve only seen previously hinted at, but never, ever enacted so seamlessly, with such utter precision and perfection. I am truly impressed and humbled by this extraordinary achievement.

Put simply, you have (and most likely, without intending to) created a masterpiece- albeit in an unconventional way. With this song, you’ve built the perfect beast- a fully formed entity replete with all the right moving parts, supple limbs, oversized genitalia, an irresistible appearance, and an insatiable libido- all the external trappings which are considered so essential in order for one to be found attractive and desirable by others in this world. This song is sexy, self-assured and supremely confident regarding its ability to overtake and conquer its prey.

However, in creating your entity, you’ve left out two fundamental parts. You’ve forgotten to imbue it with a reason for existence- a sensibility, intent. You’ve also forgotten to give it a heart- feelings- emotions. It has all the attributes which make it immediately appealing and lacks the very attributes which would make it attractive over the longterm.

In a sense, it is the sonic embodiment of all contemporary popular music and our entire culture. As much as it is an advert for these things, it is also an indictment of them. This creature of yours calls to mind nothing other than the Replicants in “Blade Runner” which are superior in every way to humans, but whose existences are stunningly brief and give them no time to experience and evince substance or meaning.

Still, if popular music can be thought to represent the spirit of the times in which it is created, you should be awarded a Nobel Prize for creating such remarkable social commentary.

As a result of your miraculous phenomena, I can report that the aforementioned hooks, which had all but invaded my consciousness over the past week, have almost completely receded into the distant static of my mind. I actually have to force myself to recall them and can now only do so with some effort.

Congratulations again for this momentous achievement- the creation of contemporary popular music that is utterly infectious, and yet, has a more limited shelf life than anything I’ve ever heard. Plenty of people have written big pop songs which evaporate in 3 months- you’ve managed to create a big pop song which evaporates in a week. Perhaps, the same approach can be used in the future to decrease the half-life of radioactive material.

Thanks also, for helping me recapture some lost moments of my adolescence when mad infatuation so expediently and mercurially soured into disgust.

Dear iTunes-

Thanks from the bottom of my heart for being the best thing that ever happened to a music-centric consumer since Warner Brothers released its “Loss Leaders” series. Making it possible to actually listen to new recordings in the comfort of my own home has proven to be a welcome and money-saving boon. I remember there used to be those little listening kiosks at Virgin Records so one could preview new CDs- the iTunes Store is so much better and convenient. It’s far more fitting, too, since all the music I’m hearing is so disposable; I’m thrilled not to leave the house in order to listen to it.

Consequently, I will not need to purchase new recordings by such noteworthy artists as Black Sabbath, Queens of the Stone Age and the previously mentioned Daft Punk (to name but a few). As a result, I am saving at least $50 which I can now allocate toward such necessities as food, gasoline and cat litter.

O tempora, o mores.

Advertisements

About Michael J. Beinhorn

I've been producing, directing, analyzing, arranging, writing, rewriting, programming, engineering, orchestrating, performing and mixing music for 35 years. I also make illustrations and just became an author.
This entry was posted in art, creativity, expression, Michael Beinhorn, Music, Music Business, Music Industry, Music Production, Pop Music, Popular Music, record production, Recording, Recording industry. Bookmark the permalink.

12 Responses to Thank you, Daft Punk, Thank you, iTunes

  1. Tyler says:

    New QOTSA is actually pretty solid.

    • Solid is definitely a word you could use to describe it. However, it also ain’t sticking out like a sore thumb. I’d love to experience that once in a great while.

      • tyler.pesely@facebook.com says:

        I agree. It would be nice to be absolutely blown away once in awhile. You’ve been around a long time. Do you ever see popular music experiencing a much needed makeover? Or are we going to be stuck in the sea of shit forever? Is the musical climate of today not capable of holding up artists who have a lasting impact, and instead just disposable hits that last a week, such as “Get Lucky”?

      • Yep, it sure would and this is something that everyone is waiting for. And yes, I do see it turning around- perhaps not right away, but eventually. I feel that a turnaround will be the result of artists stepping up who have absolutely no sense of fear and no need to conceal who or what they truly are. The reason people are making records like “Get Lucky” is because they feel something that happened many years ago and was good then can be good now. In the process, they put nothing of themselves in their work- we don’t get to know who they are or what they feel. This is the essence of greatness- not the simulation of greatness.

  2. Excellent article!
    It also reminds me of my own quirk: I often dislike certain songs upon first listen, then they grow on me upon repeated listening.

  3. Tyler says:

    It seems like music is all about nostalgia, whether its old bands getting back together or newer bands having an older sound. Everyone seems to want to dig up the past as opposed to setting new musical trends and boundaries. A lack of creativity perhaps. Or it could be that no one has their own identity because they’re so caught up on what has already happened. I’ve been saying since 2009 that a new musical revolution will happen. I just don’t know how or when. But I’m looking forward to it.

    • You’re right on the money. For example; what made Black Sabbath so great; could they repeat that now, after years of (among other things, aging) and does the world even need a new Black Sabbath record? There’s something essential about those old records, but ripping them off (or resuscitating the artists who made them) is nothing more than exploitation than about rejuvenating an ailing art form. Let the past be the past- it’s time for everyone to move forward.

      • Tyler says:

        The question is how do we move forward though? In a musical climate that’s so varied and vast these days, how do we progress and not stay in the past? Tough questions..

      • This is a tough question because there are many potential answers and because the issue is very big and only getting more so. The quick answer would be to offer a platitude about not being afraid and moving forward regardless of anything. While this position is valid, we also live in a society where that type of behavior is actively discouraged. As much insistence as there is on being an innovator, conformity is a basic survival skill and you meet a lot of resistance by trying to be yourself/doing something that no one else has heard before.

        Also, there actually is very little music to draw from for inspiration that hasn’t already been tapped numerous times and to the point of overkill by countless others seeking the same things, which leaves little room to innovate further.

        The answer is, I’m not sure, but the question is food for thought. One thing is certain, it has to be dealt with eventually, or else.

  4. Josh D says:

    Well said. I miss music with depth.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s