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“Rewerk Wednesday”/Cahill

Last year, my favorite remix of the year was the explosive Cahill redo of Zendaya’s gummy groove, “Replay.” Not only does this tantalizing trio’s rewire of Ms. Z’s hit take the original to blissful new music heights, but it truly proves that they’ve got it in the bag when it comes to creating delicious dance thunderstorms. However, that’s only the tip- of- the -laptop when it comes to this explosive UK dance production trio. So on that replayed beat, let’s get our “Rewerk Wednesday” on, shall we?

Hailing from their music mother Adele’s homeland, Cahill consists of three pulsating DJ/producers-Anton Powers, Tim Condran and Scott Rosser. The trio first joined forces ’07, teaming up with soul seductress Nikki Belle, recording the titanic track, “Trippin On You.” While the song got off to a fine start throbbing in Liverpool nightclubs, it soon wound up on global dance charts everywhere, and the rest is heart pumping music history.

After the success of “Trippin,” the dynamic trio recorded two more funkdafied firestorms with Ms. Belle, “Sex Shooter” and “Crush On You,” which would then lead them to remixing some of the hottest names in the music game-Mariah Carey, Rihanna, Enrique Iglesias and Selena Gomez, just to name a few. Cahill even collaborated with now defunct former ‘AI’ diva, Kimberly Locke on a delectable dittie called, “Feel The Love,” even providing their own remix, transforming it into a slice of pure disco heaven.

If I had to pick out my favorite Cahill reworks, we would basically be here for hours. Looking in my music vault,  at the top of my list would be their rewiring of Alexis Jordan’s(BIG sigh…) cheeky hit, “Hush, Hush,” their soaring take on Mariah’s “Obsessed,” and any one of their five remixes they’ve served up for Nicole Scherzingers’ almost-there-but-not-quite-maimstream solo hits will do just fine.

However, if I had to absolutely pick out my favorite reworked Cahill opus, it would be their torching of the smash Agnes(another…BIG…sigh) track, “Release Me.” However, don’t take my headphones for it, Ms. Agnes’ heart wrenching groove only kicks off a luscious list of lively reworked wonders brought to you by Cahill. Dive in.

Agnes/”Release Me”

 

Zendaya/”Replay”

Nicole Scherzinger/”Boomerang”

“Trippin On You'(ft. Nikki Belle)

“Feel The Love” (ft. Kimberly Locke)

Alexis Jordan/”Hush, Hush”

Keri Hilson/”Pretty Girl Rock”

Mariah Carey/”Obsessed”

For more Cahill, go here.

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8 Essential Covers

Daniel Johns (of Silverchair) – Smells Like Teen Spirit
[Original artist: Nirvana]

A song that’s been overplayed and covered over and over and over. But in this I find myself back in my childhood during a summer rain. I think it’s the harp, the journey of the piano, and the slight snark of Johns’ voice. It takes the song into a whole new dimension.

 

Fiona Apple – Across The Universe
[Original artist: The Beatles]

If the Beatles couldn’t get it right, having released 3 separate versions of the song, than Fiona did, releasing one epic version with a video to compliment. I put this song on in the midst of chaos to remind myself who’s really in control. It’s in the beauty of her voice coupled with the sic drum breakdowns.

 

Bastille – We Can’t Stop
[Original artist: Miley Cyrus]

From the homage to Eminem ‘Lose Yourself’, to the guitar lick of ‘Hakuna Matata’ to a random throw in of ‘Achy Breaky Heart’ to the actual song itself…this is one of the best cover versions of any song…ever.

 

Jamie Cullum – Don’t Stop The Music
[Original artist: Rihanna]

It’s hard to really pick ONE of Cullum’s covers. They’re all ace (Pharrell’s ‘Frontin’, ‘God Only Knows’ on violins, ‘Singin’ In The Rain’ jazzed out, Radiohead’s ‘High and Dry’ on piano). But it’s the cover of Rihanna’s hit that gets me every single time. It’s an absolutely flawless recording.

 

Nostalgia 77 (Grant Phabao Remix) – Seven Nation Army
[Original artist: The White Stripes]

A cover song that’s been remixed?! Yup. And it fucking pumps. It’s all in Alice Russell’s voice coupled with the reggae push/pull of the keys/guitars. So much power. So much energy. So much vibe.

 

The Wallflowers – Heroes
[Original artist: David Bowie]

Let’s be honest…Bowie’s version was never that good to begin with. The 90s happened, so did Jakob Dylan’s sexy cool voice and so did Oasis. Put them together, throw them into a blockbuster film, and you got gold. #throwback

 

Cake – I Will Survive
[Original artist: Gloria Gaynor]

Cake has always been good at sounding…different. And being slightly humourous/satirical (no wonder MTV’s Daria adopted them on every episode). So what are they to do but cover Gloria Gaynor, throw in the ‘f’ word, and make a video about the parking authority. #genius

 

Foo Fighters – Baker Street
[Original artist: Gerry Rafferty]

Gerry Rafferty may have written a dope song back in the 70s but the Foo really claimed it as their own. When I first heard this on the radio I flipped my shit, not realizing it was a cover. I thought it was one of the coolest catchiest riffs around. And I still feel that way today. Rock on Baker Street…

 

HONORABLE MENTION:

Mark Ronson – Just
[Original artist: Radiohead]

Sure, everybody knows Radiohead and everyone knows Phantom Planet and everyone knows Mark Ronson these days. But did you ever think they’d all work together so well? Look, no version of any Radiohead song will ever trump their own, but this one comes so damn close. Funky Fresh. Kudos to them remaking the entire video as well. Well done guys.

 

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5 Reasons Why You Should Be Watching ‘Empire’ Wednesday Nights On Fox

Once you watch the first two episodes, you’ll understand. FOX’s new prime-time drama series Empire is the only show you need to be watching on Wednesday nights, as American Idol’s 545th(?)season kicked off with the lowest ratings in the show’s history. Clearly, that one-time “must watch” T.V. staple is, in a word, done. However, in case the incessant status updates and tweets during the 9 P.M. time slot that ‘Empire’ holds Wednesday nights on FOX isn’t enough to convince you, I’m here today to serve up 5 Reasons Why you absolutely should be tuning into ‘Empire’ every week. Dive into my convincing case below…

1.Because Tariji P. Henson absolutely slays it as her portrayal of lead female character, Cookie

If there has EVER been a more entertaining lead female character in a drama series, I would like to see you try to find one. After serving a seventeen year prison sentence, Ms. Cookie Lyon(the fab Ms. P. Henson), returns to reclaim what is rightfully hers, Empire Entertainment. At the same time, she tries to reestablish relationships with her three sons, who now all view her differently after her Orange Is The New Black  vacation. Cookie is a strong and determined woman who doesn’t stop until she gets what she wants, a.k.a, my role model. Although her fashion sense is about two decades behind, her wit and knack for shade are very much up-to-date. Believe it when I tell you guys, that Cookie is going to give you LIFE with her one-liners and quips every week.  I mean, she’s already beaten her son Hakeem into next week with a broom…and we’re only a few episodes in. Getting convinced yet?

2.Because of the rest of the cast and crew….

Created, written, and produced by Radnor High School alum, Lee Daniels (‘Monsters Ball’) and Danny Strong (‘The Hunger Games’), Empire is not only well written, but it also contains a highly respectable cast. Academy Award nominated actors Terrence Howard (‘Hustle & Flow’, 2006), Gabourey Sidibe(‘Precious’, 2009), and of course, Ms. Tariji all appear as recurring characters every week.  Howard and Henson compliment each other well when it comes to bringing the story of their once-married characters, Lucious and Cookie, to life. The complex nature of these two characters is effortlessly displayed by these seasoned entertainers, while at the same time, their powerful portrayals don’t take away from the performances of the other actors and actresses in supporting roles. There’s not a single cast member who doesn’t appropriately add to the melodramatics of this “Hip-Hopera”…

3. Because it has a great story to tell……

Starting off as a underground rapper and street hustler, Lucious Lyon(Howard) starts a Hip-hop record label, Empire Entertainment, with his then wife, Cookie. After Cookie takes the fall for a crime she didn’t commit, Lucious is left to raise their three sons Andre, Jamal, and Hakeem, all on his own. Fast-forward to seventeen years later, and an announcement is made that Empire Entertainment will be made public on the NYSE, and also during this time, Lucious is diagnosed with ALS, all the while knowing that he now has to make the decision of “naming his successor” and the future head of the company. In a manner reminiscent of King Lear, he puts his three sons in competition with each other for the “throne” as Cookie returns from her extended vacation to reclaim Empire, the company started with her $400,000 investment. If that’s not enough juice for you, Ms. Cookie returns only to find out that Lucious has remarried and been living quite the glamorous life while she’s been in prison. Ready to tune in now?

4. Because it’s laced with incredible music….

One of the best parts about the show, is that every episode features a few original scores and performances. With songs written and produced by global award-winning executive music producer Timothy “Timbaland” Mosley(maybe Missy Elliot will pop up soon? Sigh….), the show is bound to have you thumbing your way to a music download program. Accompanied by well-choreographed performances and dance sequences, the soundtrack to Empire is a shoe-in for some Emmy nominations-and for your headphones. As the two youngest sons are in competition with each other, with one rapping and one singing, we can expect many more original hits to come in the remaining eleven episodes already pre-ordered by FOX. Since the show touches on very controversial and sensitive topics, the lyrics to many of the tracks hold deep meaning and certainly hold their relevance in today’s world. To check out some tunes from the show, go right here.

5. Because it’s Philly based….

Although presently set in NYC, the story of Empire Entertainment began in Philadelphia. Being a native, ANY show based in Philly is a must-see.  Really, at the end of the day, if you’re looking for a great T.V. drama with captivating scenes and an amazing soundtrack, then ‘Empire’ is what you absolutely need in your life. A show like this hasn’t graced the screens of America since Dynasty (see the similarity in the titles), and it’s already smashing expectations, with ratings increasing in the second week and beyond (which is EXTREMELY rare for new shows), showing no signs of slowing down. The ‘Empire’ train has left the station, so you better hurry up and jump on! That’s all.