’90s French house lives on through Medicom’s Daft Punk figures

This is an exquisite arrival for dance music heads “around the world”! Pay homage to two seminal figures of the French house genre with these Real Action Heroes figures of Daft Punk’s Thomas Bangalter (pictured) and Guy-Manuel
de Homem-Christo
. Medicom has rendered these guys in 12-inch format with their signature gold, silver and black helmets re-created in impeccable detail.

Whether you’re time-traveling back to the late ’90s and the DJ’s spinningHomework or tearing up the dance floor in the 21st century to Random Access Memories, these guys will make you want to start a revolution of the 909 variety.

When he's ugly cute so he shows up to the function with a mask

When he’s ugly cute so he shows up to the function with a mask

May the strings be with you: Guitar Wars Project blends Star Wars and shredding

Lightsabers and Wookiees and . . . classical guitar riffs? After the viral success of their Star Wars-themed YouTube guitar cover, Sébastien Moreau and Robbin Blanco launched onto the cosmic ride that became the Montreal-based Guitar Wars Project. Naturally, we here at CmdStore were all over that like C-3PO on conventions of intergalactic etiquette. We caught up with these two to learn more about this super-rad creative undertaking. Read on to get all of the juicy gossip, from how it all started to being hypothetical jacuzzi pals with Jabba.

Source: GWP

Source: GWP

Hi, guys! Where are you from and where do you currently reside?
Sébastien: I’m from Trois-Rivières, [Quebec] and we both live in Montreal . . .
Robbin: But I’m from Mérida, Mexico.

Tell us a bit about your backgrounds in music.
Guitar Wars Project: We met in university during our studies. We’re both holders of master’s degrees in music performance.
Sébastien: I’ve played in a lot of different projects before Guitar Wars. I’m more a classical guy. I’ve done hundreds and hundreds of concerts in established festivals, mostly here in Canada and in Europe.
Robbin: I did studies in classical music, but I’ve always been an electric guitarist, playing jazz, rock and pop all around Mexico, South America, the U.S. and Europe. Outside the Guitar Wars Project, I have a power fusion trio with original music and a tango project.

What gave you the idea for Guitar Wars? Was there a special “Aha!” moment?
Guitar Wars Project: We are fans of the movies, and also we think that the John Williams soundtrack is awesome.
Sébastien: So my Robbin here decided to write unplayable arrangements for two guitars [laughs].
Robbin: And of course you wanted to do this project to have a valid reason to put on a costume and possess “real” lightsabers [laughs].

Your “Imperial March” music video went viral not too long ago. What did that feel like?
Guitar Wars Project: We’re really happy with this first video, but to be honest we hope that our next one will get more views.
Sébastien: But having great feedback from fans all around the world is amazing.

Moreau and Blanco make up the crossover Guitar Wars Project. Source: GWP

Moreau and Blanco make up the crossover Guitar Wars Project. Source: GWP

What’s the weirdest or most awesome thing that has happened to you as a result of this project?
Guitar Wars Project: We did this concert at a music festival in Mérida, Mexico. More than 500 people came with costumes and toys. Even Darth Vader wanted to make a speech.
Sébastien: By now, I feel kind of strange when people tell me that this project is weird.
Robbin: I told you that the costumes were a bad idea . . . I just wanted to play the music on guitar [laughs].

On a scale of one to this excited train guy, how stoked are you about Star Wars: Episode VII coming out in December?
Sébastien: My excitement level exceeds the highest level of midichlorians ever found in a human.
Robbin: I’m very exited about the next film and also very happy with John Williams’s participation in the score! He rocks.

You’re playing a comic con in Dubai as part of your tour. How did that come about?
Guitar Wars Project: The “Imperial March” video helped a lot when it came to showing our project to people all around the globe. By now, we’ve received other invitations that we’ll announce soon. But don’t miss our show in Montreal on March 28.
Sébastien: Lord Vader wants us to find two droids hiding in the desert . . .
Robbin: It’s a good opportunity to show our concept in front of many people and also a great place to visit.

What is your favorite thing about Montreal?
Sébastien: I have lived in many cities, and I can tell you that there’s no place more amazing than Montreal in the summer. The bars, festivals, restaurants . . . and the multicultural aspect is so awesome. The amount of activities to do is astonishing.
Robbin: It’s a cool place. The winter is a little long for me (a Latin guy), but I like to meet people from everywhere.

The Guitar Wars Project will be in Montreal on March 28. Source: GWP

The Guitar Wars Project will be in Montreal on March 28. Source: GWP

What sorts of cool things can audiences expect to see at your shows?
Guitar Wars Project: This is a concert, so you’ll hear the best theme composed by John Williams in a totally new way. We cover the entire saga, from “Duel of the Fates” to “The Emperor’s Theme”, along with “Princess Leia’s Theme”, “Main Title”, “Cantina Band” and, of course, “The Imperial March”.
Sébastien: For us, it’s a great way to show all the possibilities of the guitar with great music. And you can expect different music styles, from jazz and world to classical.
Robbin: But please keep in mind that this is a concert, not theater. I broke my clavicle last year, so no more lightsaber fights [laughs].

If you had to watch one Star Wars movie on repeat for a month, which would it be?
Sébastien: My favorite one is definitively The Empire Strikes Back.
Robbin: Return of the Jedi, and I think I already did that [laughs].

If you had to be in a hot tub with three Wookiees or one Jabba the Hutt, which would you choose? (Snacks would be provided.)
Sébastien: I would never join them in a hot tub. I’m a Jedi, like my father before me.
Robbin: Maybe this question is more for the girls [laughs], but for sure we would rather hang out with Princess Leia and Amidala. I think they’re the only hot chicks in the saga [laughs].

– – – – –

The Guitar Wars Project will be performing in Montreal, Canada on March 28. Scope the official Guitar Wars Project website for more details, and grab tickets for their live Montreal performance. You can also buy the Imperial March single on iTunes.

CmdStore rates the best hip hop and R&B songs about superheroes

We took some of these jams from a master list by the ever-savvy Billboard, which was pretty thorough, but we realized that we would have to necessarily omit such god-awful regrettables like “Kryptonite” by 3 Doors Down. (We’d like to forget that such a shudder-worthy hard-rock grunge “revival” even happened near the end of the ’90s and beginning of the ’00s, wouldn’t you?) To narrow it down and broaden the discussion, we’ve decided to look at five hip hop and R&B songs referencing superheroes, rating them with corresponding grades.

So, here are a few songs that your favorite Marvel and DC superheroes just might boogie down to at a house party. (And can you imagine what that party would be like? Seriously, can we get an invite? Would Spider-Man drink light or dark beer? We have so many questions right now.) Let’s go!

1. Batman and Robin – Snoop Dogg feat. Lady of Rage RBX

Tha Doggfather injects a re-working of the classic Batman theme song with the trademark West-Coast gangsta swagger of a G-funk persuasion. A deep, plucky bass line adds Gotham-like seriousness with old-school comic-book kitsch, as Lady of Rage raps, “Hit ’em with the POW! BAM! BIFF! Whoa / Pick up your lips, don’t trip, tie your shoelace / When I spit, I split it, turn Harvey Dent into Two-Face / Robin, I’m more than a sidekick, I’m more like the livest”. Yes. All of the yes. We give this superhero jam an A-.

2. Superman – Eminem

Some of you may remember saving your allowance to buy The Eminem Show circa 2002, only to have it confiscated by your mom after she saw the “Parental Advisory” sticker and gasped at the violent, sexually-charged lyrics. Now I get why moms the world over did what they did, because it probably wasn’t cool that I could rap all of the f-words on the album at the age of 12. And I know I wasn’t the only one! This ditty is rife with gross, misogynistic lyrics, and essentially sees Marshall Mathers telling his lady that he can’t save her and be her Superman. That being said, The Eminem Show was very much a key work of 2000s rap, and represented an era in which Em broke down racial barriers for the genre. We give this superhero jam a C+.

3. Gotham City (Remix) – R. Kelly

R. Kelly is the king of pushing remixes that are way more bangin’ than their originals could ever hope to be (see: “Ignition”). The remix to “Gotham City” is no exception. The original song was, appropriately, on the soundtrack to the 1997 film Batman & Robin. But it was terrible. So sappy, so fluffy. Even the would-be futuristic sparse hi-hats were lost amidst the cheese. The remix is much more palatable. Here, we see spookier, notably more East-Coast-influenced production à la Mobb Deep’s The Infamous. The concept is “Gotham City for the ghetto”, as Kells croons, and longs for a utopia where he feels he can belong, in the vein of “Gangsta’s Paradise” and “Thugz Mansion”. For the extra effort and solemn relatability of the remix, we give this superhero jam a B.

There’s clearly something missing here — where are the songs about more obscure fandom characters?! Is the intersection of hip-hop artists and comic-book culture aficionado(a)s really that small? Perhaps Nicki Minaj rhyming about Harley Quinn and Rocket Raccoon is but a mere fantasy, but hey — a geek can dream, right?

Source: giphy.com

Source: giphy.com

3 big ways Drake is actually a Marvel superhero

The funny thing about Drizzy is that there are few who are just indifferent to him. There exists a general trend wherein one finds themselves on one side or another of the polarizing Aubrey Graham Affection Spectrum* — you could be the type to have amassed his entire discography, have made a pillow cover from your “Would You Like a Tour?” concert tee, and have thought about how you’re going to propose to your significant other with that obscure track from So Far Gone. Or you’re the one who constantly mocks any and all of your Drake-listening male friends with borderline homophobic slurs, re-posted and/or liked all of those Degrassi memes when they came out, and insists upon self-righteously proclaiming to the rest of the world that you listen to ~real music~, which could be anything from De La Soul to Slayer for you, really. (A rare exception to these two sides is the Girl with the Drake Tattoo, who is just on another level that no one should attempt to reach. Ever.)

Fine, fine. So we exaggerate. And really, it’s okay if you’re not partial to Our Lord and Savior Drizzus Christ’s sonic offerings. They’re not to everybody’s liking. But can we deny the fact that, if certain actions of his are carefully inspected, he could essentially kind of be a Marvel superhero?

 

drake

Hear us out.

1. Drake’s full of witty banter like Deadpool.

One of the most telltale characteristics of the red-suited Marvel anti-hero and mercenary is the clever badinage that he seemingly effortlessly taunts his victims with right in the thick of combat. We’re in on the joke with him, but the bad guys are just too dumb to get it — or they’re just preoccupied at that moment with hanging on to their lives by a thread. Much like ‘pool, Drake is known for his cheeky wordplay and onstage charisma, simultaneously flirting with his audience while decrying his “haters”. With some of the most topsy-turvy verbals in today’s R&B and hip hop (“Tell me, can we kick it like Ali Shaheed and Phife Dawg / People really hate when a backpack rapper get rich and start livin’ that life, dog”), he’s the author of now-infamous phrases embedded into the social consciousness (see: “YOLO”, for which he has apologized, and “0 to 100”, the cry of bucket-hat-clad dudes everywhere). He’s adept, to say the least. I wonder if he or Deadpool would win in a rap battle?

 

Source: perezhilton.com

Source: perezhilton.com

 

2. Like Blade, Drake comes from two different worlds.
The vampire-human hybrid Blade is renowned for possessing all of the strengths of the two vastly different facets of his background — and none of the weaknesses, possessing immunity to both silver and sunlight. Pretty rad. Drake, on the other hand, was born to an African-American father and a Jewish-Canadian mother, a heritage that has been explored both his lyrics and public comments. His mixed identity has thus made him to be a kind of super-human, possessing intimate knowledge of the experiences of being part of both and yet belonging to none. It’s allowed him to put forth discourse on race, class and gender that no other rapper has had the authority to do just yet. Although there exists a catch, of course. Blade has to constantly fight off his bloodlust. And Drake has to constantly fight off the malaise that comes from never knowing exactly who he is. But without that inner crisis, we wouldn’t have four albums of recorded feelz set to impeccable beatz, so it all evens out.
Tell 'em. Source: rebloggy.com

Tell ’em. Source: rebloggy.com

3. Drake, like Professor Charles Xavier, created a posse that defined their careers.
The Professor is a hero in his own right because of his key role in bringing together human-mutant hybrids for the pursuit of good in the form of the X-Men. He could have used his superior intellect to do whatever he wanted with the world, but he decided to gather with others and establish a movement. October’s Very Own or the OVO crew is an amalgamation of Drizzy’s childhood pals, affiliated producers and artists signed to his OVO Sound label. Drake is anything but shy about his love and affection for the entourage, even penning the anthem “Crew Love” in honor of their bond, and irreverently proclaiming one of his life philosophies and now-Millennial-epithet in “No New Friends”. Although Drake technically hasn’t been tasked with officially assembling superhero allies in the fight against evil, it could be argued that he is engaged in a battle against the traditional gangsta-rap façade of showing only tough hip-hop bravado without letting spill any of the manly emotions that lurk underneath. And he brought 13 of his boys with him to do the dirty work.
Source: moviepilot.com

Source: moviepilot.com

 

There you have it — very, very reputable proof that Drake is, indeed, a Marvel superhero. Do you agree? Leave us a comment below!

 

Source: uproxx.com

Source: uproxx.com

 

* definitely a real scientific science developed by sciencey scientists.

7 reasons why Taylor Swift is actually Wonder Woman

Ye olde interwebs has recently been sent a-Twitter over Yahoo’s accidental release of the official music video to Taylor Swift’s “Blank Space”, a kind of Lorde-y, snappy single from her forthcoming album 1989. Which was a pretty big boo-boo considering that the existence of the video had been heretofore intentionally kept secret, and that Swift had planned to do a big reveal on Good Morning America today. Her team dealt with it by putting it up a day early themselves, and all is still well in the universe because the video is brilliant.

T-Swift has been the source of both mass public scorn and hype since she was but a C-D-Em-G-strumming teen, but somehow she manages to keep her fist clasped tightly around the dice that determine her pop-star fate. And so we got to thinking… Tay-Tay is kind of a Wonder Woman herself, isn’t she? Here are seven reasons why.

1. Taylor Swift is a mythical Amazon.

It’s common comic-world knowledge that Wonder Woman comes from a physiologically gifted line of female warriors known as Amazons, known for their tall stature. Swift stands at a well-above-average 5’11”, which scored her modeling gigs as a pre-pop star Tennessee teen. Based on the mythical Amazons of ancient Greek lore, the DC Amazons are ruled by the fictional Queen Hippolyta (and mother of Wonder Woman), whose hair morphs from a dark to flaxen shade with the evolution of the series. Swift, an obvious blondie, could easily be a long-lost descendant of these badass warrier ladies.

The resemblance is totally there. Source: jlumux.com

The resemblance is totally there. Source: jlumux.com

2. Swift takes out foes with her own Lasso of Truth.

One of the reasons why the video for “Blank Space” and the song itself have been praised is that Taylor has taken media criticism of her dating history and thrown it right back into their proverbial faces. She’s in on the joke that she’s dated around Tinseltown and the movie and music industries, with lines like “Got a long list of ex-lovers / They’ll tell you i’m insane”. Tay looks the bull straight in the mouth and flashes her own lipsticked smirk because she’s unafraid of reality like that. Similarly, Wonder Woman’s Golden Lasso forces anyone it wraps itself around to obey her wishes and tell the truth. It’s a pretty perfect metaphor for how T-Swift maintains her hold on the music industry and blocks out the haters.

Everyday iPhone earbuds or Tay's Magic Lasso? Source: yournextshoes.com

Everyday iPhone earbuds or Tay’s Magic Lasso? Source: yournextshoes.com

3. Tay-Tay has a healing factor as a superheroine ability.

A healing factor is commonly known as a fictional superhero or superheroine’s ability to, well, heal themselves — but at a totally rapid, superhuman rate. It’s one of Wonder Woman’s key abilities and secrets to her strength, and all sources point to the fact that T has been #blessed with this in real life. Despite the massive media scrutiny surrounding her very public breakups with a significantly younger Harry Styles of One Direction and a hella older John Mayer, she has kept her cool and managed to not undergo a Britney shaved-head episode circa 2007 (side note: we don’t blame you, Brit). Despite the emotional trauma that these breakups must have caused the 24-year-old, she kept on truckin’ and went on to earn close to $40 million in 2013.

Wonder if Taylor keeps her cash stash in here? Source: sf-collectables.co.uk

Wonder if Taylor keeps her cash stash in here? Source: sf-collectables.co.uk

4. T has a not-so-secret weakness.

Like all superheroes and superheroines, Tay herself has also made some career faux-pas when it comes to her otherworldly (songwriting) abilities. She’s come under fierce fire from music critics and feminist bloggers alike for relying substantially on her own dating life for song material, making her catalogue into a mass of teen-friendly sweet-as-pie/I’m-ripping-my-picture-from-my-locker-door heterosexual love ballads. It’s true that his has been a creative crutch of hers that has made some of her work pretty bland and predictable, but she’s acknowledged that it’s there and that she’s growing up, too. In the late 1960s, Wonder Woman chooses to revoke her abilities and not accompany her Amazon sistren into another dimension, choosing instead to operate on a pseudo-human level in the “Man’s World”. But she’s still proactive, acquiring a mentor from the Far East who hones her fighting skills. This is proof that both Wonder Woman and T-Swift are able to “Shake it Off” and move past their moments of weakness.

Swift has proved that she's good at getting herself out of her own jams. Source: marionharmon.com

Swift has proved that she’s good at getting herself out of her own jams. Source: marionharmon.com

5. T-Swift, like Wonder Woman, favors a signature red lip.

What’s the last thing you would want your nemeses to see before you knock them out in the name of justice? A flying, cherry-red blur just as they see stars, of course! From the Golden Age to The New 52, Diana has been outfitted in primary colors and bright-red boots to complement the hue of her lips. Besides her voluminous dark hair, her lip shade has been one of her trademarks. Like Wonder Woman, Tay has favored a 20th-century “retro” aesthetic when it comes to her look, and this wouldn’t be complete without a red lip. Perhaps it’s a vestige of when she went all “1950s Rhode Island summer trust-fund kid” slash “Daisy Buchanan reincarnate” circa the H-Stylez era, but who’s keeping track? She looks old-school glamorous wherever she sports the shade, much like her superheroine counterpart that has sported similarly classic looks since 1941.

Mega classic babe. Source: jackizehner.com

Mega classic babe. Source: jackizehner.com

6. Wonder Woman can get into country-girl mode, too.

Behold this still from Lynda Carter’s historic portrayal of Wonder Woman in the late-1970s TV series. Perched atop a horse amidst mountains that could easily be in America’s South, Diana is ever-strong and looks amusingly at home in such a rural setting. Since it’s been well-circulated that T grew up wholesomely on a Christmas-tree farm in Tennessee, we bet these two gals would be the best of world-saving pals.

T's down-homegirl. Source: Silver Screen Collection/Getty Images

T’s down-homegirl. Source: Silver Screen Collection/Getty Images

7. Taylor Swift has borrowed part of Wonder Woman’s moniker for herself.

In 2011, Tay launched her first perfume in conjunction with well-known cosmetics manufacturer Elizabeth Arden, and that perfume was called nothing other than “Wonderstruck”. Yeah, yeah, so some would say that it’s an obvious allusion to a line in her 2010 single “Enchanted“. But is it really a coincidence? Not to go all Illuminati-conspiracy-theorist on you, but we think not.

"I'm Wonder [Woman], blushing all the way home"... right? Source: theperfumeshop.com

“I’m Wonder [Woman], blushing all the way home”… right? Source: theperfumeshop.com

There you have it. Taylor Swift = Wonder Woman. Do you agree?

Michael Jackson receives a Figuarts makeover

Who better to regale the music lover’s collection than the King of Pop himself? M.J. is celebrated and honored here by Tamashii Nations’s well-known S.H. Figuarts series. Caught mid-dance, with one arm crooked stylishly in “Smooth Criminal” fashion, Jackson embodied the essence of swagger before any term had even been coined for it.

The 5-inch figure is decked out in a white suit and hat, just like in the legendary song’s accompanying music video that is implanted in the memory of more than one generation of pop fans. A whopping seven interchangeable facial expression, hand, leg, hat and upper body parts (so he can easily shift to the “This Is It” pose) bring this action figure to life. Preorder M.J. now for November shipment.

The only Smooth Criminal.

The only Smooth Criminal.

KEITH RICHARDS by Medicom

Was he ever this young? The Rolling Stones’ Keith Richards looks pretty different in this amazing figure from Medicom. Featuring his classic guitar and some truly incredible sculpting for this likeness, this “Ultra Detail Figure” is a surefire catch for anybody who wants to relive the golden years of one of the world’s greatest bands. Keef stands about 6 inches tall and would make a pretty solid addition to the line-up you know you should be building.