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Music / Caravan Palace

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Don't panic, just Swing!
Hey, brother, what you thinking?
Leave that old record spinning
You feel the rhythm going
They call it lonely diggin'
"Lone Digger"

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Caravan Palace is an incredibly catchy electroswing band hailing from Paris, France.

So far, they have released:

  • Caravan Palace (2008)
  • Panic (2012)
  • <I°_°I> (2015, alternatively referred to by fans as Robot Face or Robot)
Current Singles:


This band provides examples of:

  • Album Title Drop: Of the music video variety; the first of the title cards in the "Rock It For Me" music video simply reads Panic!
    • The club featured in the "Lone Digger" has the titular robot face as a logo.
  • Alien Invasion: The subject of the "Rock It For Me" music video.
  • Animated Music Video: Occasionally ventured into with different results. The video for "Jolie Coquine" features Stop Motion animation, the videos for "Lone Digger" and "Wonderland" feature different types of 2D animation (the former involving Rotoscoping), and the video of "Rock It For Me" features a mix of 2D and 3D animation.
  • Animal Jingoism: In the "Lone Digger" video, we have a trio of cat-people sitting at a table across from a group of dog-people. Guess what happens. NOTHING GOOD.
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  • Art Deco: The music videos for "Suzy" and "Rock It For Me" display this style of aesthetic.
  • Bleached Underpants: The original band was a jazz trio that was hired by a production company to make a soundtrack for silent porn films, but have mostly left that behind for a much more broad and family-friendly aesthetic... though as the video to "Miracle" and "Lone Digger" will gladly and explicitly demonstrate, only mostly.
  • Colour-Coded for Your Convenience: In the "Wonderland" video, the real world is depicted in blue and cool purple, whereas the main character's Dream Land is depicted in red and warm purple.
  • Coitus Ensues: The "Miracle" video (NSFW).
  • Cover Version: They have a cover of "Black Betty", a 20th-century folk song that was also previously covered by acts such as Ram Jam, Tom Jones, and Spiderbait.
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  • Dance Battler: The Humongous Mecha from "Rock It For Me" manages to wipe out an entire alien invasion BY DANCING.
  • Darker and Edgier: <I°_°I> can be considered this, with the music taking influence from harder, more raw electronic styles, with slightly moodier melodies even in the comparatively brighter pieces. Also, the music videos range from symbolically confusing to outright horrifying.
  • Design Student's Orgasm: The video to "Wonderland" is far less literal and narrative-driven than most of the band's videos, instead featuring more vibrantly artsy, stylish, yet surreal and dream-like animation throughout the whole thing.
  • Disaster Dominoes: "Lone Digger". One of the dogs trips the waitress, spilling milk on the cats who respond by killing one of the dogs. In the meantime, a snake takes the opportunity to attack the waitress which attracts the attention of the bouncer. The death of the dog leads to the bouncer getting distracted when he is sprayed by the blood. The distraction allows the snake to lethally poison him while the dog takes vengeance on the cat by ripping his throat out. Another dog receives a nasty chest wound by one of the cats while the other dog gets the thin end of a comb shoved in his eye. The bouncer literally rips the snake in half length-wise and other members of the bar join the fight when they are enraged by being sprayed with blood. In less than a minute, 90% of the people in the bar are dead.
  • Disposable Sex Worker: In "Lone Digger", this is Inverted! The stripper in "Lone Digger" appears to be the only one that survived the bar fight.
  • Disproportionate Retribution: In "Lone Digger", the club fight starts when one of the dogs trips the waitress causing her to spill her drinks on the cats. One of the cats slashes the throat of the top dog then one of the snakes takes the opportunity to try to eat the waitress. After it's all set and done, 90% of the people in the bar are dead over a couple spilled glasses of milk.
  • Drunk on Milk: The cats in "Lone Digger" seemly get wasted drinking milk. Also, whatever the dogs are drinking, it isn't scotch or whiskey.
  • Electro Swing: One of the most recognized names in the genre. Somewhat uniquely in that the "swing" part of the music is all performed by live musicians rather than sampling vintage jazz records.
  • Eye Scream: One of the dogs in "Lone Digger" gets the thin end of a comb shoved into his eye.
  • Funny Animal/Petting Zoo People: Of the "Lone Digger" video. "Funny" in this context could be a bit of a stretch, though.
  • Gang Bangers: The video for "Midnight" centers on two Compton street hoods, their rise to power, and defate at the hands of ... a vigilante cowboy?
  • Humongous Mecha: The giant swinging robot in the video for "Rock It For Me" is this, almost 50 feet high.
  • Impromptu Tracheotomy: How the first cat dies in "Lone Digger". One of the dogs rips his throat out with his teeth.
  • Indecipherable Lyrics: More often than not, the lyrics to some songs like "Rock It For Me" are drowned by the music or, in the case of Clash, sampled from other songs and scrambled, leading to this trope.
  • Interplay of Sex and Violence: The — erm... climax of the "Lone Digger" video has a very bloody fight in a strip club, with the stripper continuing to dance even as blood splashes all around her.
  • Jungle Princess: The conquistador of the "Miracle" music video encounters a hoard of Nubile Savage women, led by this. This is all subverted, however, when it's revealed that he's the primitive one and has been abducted by a technologically advanced society.
  • Lighter and Softer: Panic, while building off many of the upbeat swing and jazz elements from their self-titled album, tones down the loud, rustic aesthetic for a relatively softer and more gentle sound.
  • Lucky Charms Title: <I°_°I>, officially just pronounced as Robot Face. According to this Reddit AMA, it came from an email typing accident and someone said it looked like their mascot robot, so it stuck.
  • Mascot: Their unnamed robot has appeared on all their album covers (and with the case of <I°_°I> is both the album cover and the album title) and has appeared prominently in the music videos for "Suzy" and "Rock It For Me".
  • Natural Weapons: Near the beginning of "Lone Digger", one of the cats checks his claws. Near the end, those claws are used, and things get messy.
  • Neoclassical Punk Zydeco Rockabilly: Again, goes without saying. They play gypsy jazz mixed with French house/techno and electro influences.
  • Oh, Crap!: The look on the two dogs' faces when their leader's throat is slashed open and he collapses in "Lone Digger".
    • The hoods at the end of "Midnight" when they realize the Midnight Cowboy is on their tail.
  • Out with a Bang: One interpretation of the end of the "Miracle" music video.
  • Platonic Cave: A common interpretation of the video for "Comics". It features a masked lady in black watching over hordes of people in crab walks staring at the ground, until a trio notice their reflection from a puddle, causing them to notice the sky and instead turning towards it. This catches the masked lady's attention, and she flips them all back to re-impose her authority... and then everyone ditches her, leaving her alone and staring up at the sky herself.
  • Powered by a Forsaken Child: The end of the "Miracle" video. The supposed Mayan temple is actually an alien spaceship, powered by a hapless, seduced victim who either dies or is rendered catatonic in order to power it.
  • Sampling: Zig-Zagged. The band mostly subverts using samples for the "swing" portion of their Electro Swing style, preferring to use authentic live instruments, but occasionally they'll slip in a vintage audio clip here and there, either of basic instrumentation or just Spoken Word in Music.
  • Scatting: Used quite frequently. They even have a song from their first album called Star Scat that's filtered through a vocoder.
  • Self-Titled Album: Their debut album, simply titled Caravan Palace.
  • Sex Is Violence: A notable part of "Lone Digger" has the stripper continuing to dance even as the club erupts into violence and she is sprayed with blood. She doesn't seem to notice this happening as she rubs the blood into her fur and closeups of her body keep coming in between shots of people getting torn apart.
  • Siamese Twin Songs: Technically subverted with "Dramophone" and "Beatophone" from Panic, in that the songs don't play back-to-back, but otherwise fit the bill, having similar titles and similar beats.
  • Slashed Throat: This how the gorn starts in "Lone Digger". The head cat uses his claws to slash open the top dog's throat.
  • Spoken Word in Music: Mostly done through old samples, such as the break in the album version of "Dramophone" and the intro to "Mighty."
  • Spontaneous Choreography: In the "Dramaphone" music video, a group of bikers and a group of partying girls come close to fighting at a diner; the staff promptly breaks open a glass case containing a record disc and plays it, causing the two groups, the staff, and basically everyone in the vicinity to start dancing.
  • Surprise Creepy: Downplayed in the video for "Lone Digger". While it features animated Petting Zoo People, its suggestive imagery and overall darkness easily signifies it's not for kids. That said, what follows in the last third of the video is still quite disturbingly shocking.
  • Surreal Music Video: The video for "Comics" features a masked lady in black commanding mass hordes of people doing crab-walks.
  • Textless Album Cover: <I°_°I>, which consists of the aforementioned "robot" depicted as a neon sign.
  • Title Track: One for Panic.
  • Zeerust: Their mascot bot is based on old scifi robots, and is used on all three album covers (and is even shopped from an existing image on their debut album) and the music videos for Rock It For Me and Suzy. The music video for Mighty also consists of several clips of robots both new and old.

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