‘Funeral’ by Forget Brennan

This song makes me think. About everything and nothing at the same time. I had listened to it prior to hearing it live on Mod Sun’s tour in Pittsburgh but Forget Brennan’s performance kept me listening long after.

Are we desensitized by everything from our phones to our TVs to this digital world we live in?

“My iPhone says what my TV says, and the texts I sent are all left on read.”

At points in the song, I find the somber guitar sound of it all linking me to skepticism, perhaps cynicism, about the future of this world. Yet, at points in the song I feel a sense of individuality and optimism with who I can be, who we can all be as humans.

“The joke is you, the joke is us, the joke is everybody anywhere.”

“The box is you. The box is them. The box is everybody anywhere.”

If I take this song literally as in “no one goes to funeral anymore” then maybe foolishly I find happiness in the hope that it means we have become a generation participating in celebrations of life. Or maybe it means that we are unphased by all the loss and tragedy the world is constantly throwing in our face on every screen every day.

In my life, I want to hold conversations with people that are thought provoking, meaningful, and deep. The same goes for the music I listen to.

Maybe Forget Brennan had specific meaning and intention for this song…maybe not.

That’s the beauty in it.

– zimmertime

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Featured Artist of the Week: Clara Kent

‘Winter Song’ is Clara Kent’s latest release. The holiday song is warm to the soul, like a cup of hot cocoa on Christmas morning.

Her latest performance was at Club Cafe on December 20th curated by Dauntless Records. The show included performances by Justo Ontario, Aria Jay, Clara Kent, and DeonRaps with Arie Cole DJing the event throughout.

Justo Ontario opened up the night with music that showcased his vocal range and energetic stage presence. Aria Jay followed with a stellar crowd engaging performance, and DJed her own show. DeonRaps crushed the stage with his fierce rhymes and ended the night on an upbeat note.

In between AriaJay and DeonRaps, Clara Kent performed.

Clara Kent sang a heart throbbing showcase of her latest release ‘Winter Song.’ There may have been actual tears in the audience after she was finished. Her ability to encapsulate the audience through volume control, vibrato, and sheer beauty of tone and pitch is what makes her performance so memorable.

She followed ‘Winter Song’ up with a couple of songs highlighting her ability to tap into her hip hop side and even rapped in the last song – Words. A full range of Clara’s talents were on display:

Just yesterday, the group in which she is lead singer for, Tribe Eternal, announced that she would be performing for Sofar Sounds in DC, Philly, and Pittsburgh. She confirmed today via Instagram @iamclarakent, and she already has one performance for Sofar Sounds in DC in 2018.

She released her latest album ‘Aura’ in 2018 as well, and also released one of my favorite 2018 singles – ‘Loner Type.’ It was a breakout year for Clara Kent, so make sure you keep an eye on what she’ll be putting out in 2019!

Go listen to ‘Winter Song,’ ‘Loner Type’ and the full album Aura right now! And follow her on social media @iamclarakent!

– zimmertime

‘I Just Thought…’ by Linwood

Heavy bass, catchy electric piano repetition alongside eery but intriguing sounds throughout make for today’s beat.

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When I’m low key chillin’ this is a go to song. When I want to fly away into my no thought space, I get down to this song. The chorus is easy to ride along with, and provides for a relaxed feel.

Go give this song a listen and give Linwood a follow on Instagram @xxlinwood and on twitter @LinwoodRandolph

And while you’re there peep his latest release ‘Let Me Find Out Freestyle’

“I’m nothing special, I just thought that you might want to fly away”

– zimmertime

‘Are You In?’ by Incubus #tbt

The soothing guitar, the rumbling of the drums and cymbals, the bass and DJ sound effects eerily yet beautifully coming into the mix with every sound coming all together with a toe-tapping beat and a guitar rift to get things going, makes this song one of my favorite songs, well, since I can remember.

I was 8 at the time when ‘Are You In’ was released in 2001 as a single and eventually on the album titled Morning View by Calabasas native band Incubus. ‘Are You In’ introduces sounds of jazz and swing music plus DJ Kilmore producing fluttery, ocean-like sounds on his what seems to be synthesizer at the time. The spacey, wavy sounds he puts out on this track along with a full band contribution are just unmatched. Further, after doing some research, the group created this album when they were living in and producing the album in Malibu. Every time DJ Chris Kilmore would show up to the house on Morning View street in Malibu to start recording while over looking the ocean and Pacific Coast Highway he would say, “Ahh Morning View, it’s time to rock!”

A few summers ago, I made it a point to make sure I knew when I’d be passing Morning View on my drive up Pacific Coast Highway 1 with my girlfriend, Kalie, from LA to San Francisco. Needless to say, it makes sense why they titled their album ‘Morning View.’

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When I listen to music, I don’t just listen on the surface and I mean that. Ironically, I am not too detailed of a person in everyday life – more of a big picture type person – but for some reason with listening to music, I am super detailed. I listen to every single lyric, I pick up on every instrument involved and listen for it, and I will repeat songs to make sure I fully take the entirety of it in while trying to place meaning to it throughout. If you notice on this song, there are moments when things are poignantly added in or subtly added in:

The ‘Candy Break’ scratching by DJ Kilmore for example in the beginning of the song is a poignant, right out in the open display of scratching.

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During the midpoint build up of the song, the instrumentals as well as Brandon Boyd vocally build up the energy to a peak only for the band to bring it back to earth like when you drink that glass of ice cold water after a hot day in the sun and soothingly release ‘ahhhh.’

Then come in the faintest, most subtle voice murmurs and someone quietly says – ‘That day I ate so much chicken’ around minute 3:18. Go listen for yourself, and you will hear it. That’s the kind of detail I’m talking about above.

From listening to this song hundreds, if not in the 4 digits (no joke) of times, I conjured up that this song was all about going with the flow, being down with the moment, staying open minded, not letting yourself be a sore thumb to what’s going on. Probably on the 10th time as a 10 year old I realized that, but still. Then, I read somewhere that the song kind of just started on a whim with someone playing a sound until everyone was in playing the song, creating the song on the spot. And after some additional research too, it seems that some may think this song is about being ‘in’ when it comes to Mary Jane or Swinging based on the music video they released to it. Interesting, and not surprising at all.

Whatever the case may be I’m all in on this song. Are You In?

– zimmertime

Epilogue:

‘It’s so much easier when sea foam green is in fashion.’ The band Incubus has been my favorite band long-standing. The reason why is because they are able to create sounds that literally span the spectrum of musical sound. The oriental string instruments that make up the all time most chill song ever ‘Aqueous Transmission’; Brandon Boyd essentially rapping in ‘Pardon Me’; Drive – one of their most popular songs – being an acoustic pop song; Wish You Were Here – a standard alternative rock song; The list goes on and on…

Incubus has been ahead of their time, and I think they always will be.

Musicians. Artists. Creatives.

Are You In?

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‘Smooth’ by Sierra Sellers

Today’s featured beat ‘Smooth’ is exactly that – Smoooooooth.

Sierra Sellers is looking out for her sistaaaas in this one warning them to be careful about smooth talkers. They aren’t playin’ a fool to the men trying to woo them over, so no wonder ‘he’ is smooth talking in the first place. Unless he’s a real one and her sisters stick around, they better earn the respect they deserve as she explains throughout the song.

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It’s a straight forward message with a tone to match and display of vocal range that can’t be overlooked.

Act like you know, not like you know better.

– zimmertime

‘Wildfire Romance’ by PM Mirror

First things first, ‘Wildfire Romance’ is a radio hit. It’s just one of those iconic songs that when you hear it for the first time, you know it is special. How can we get PM Mirror on the radio?! is what I keep asking myself!

WildFire Romance

Beauty, passion, emotion is exactly what you will hear in Wildfire Romance. The range PM Mirror puts on display is incredible. His voice is something else straight up! The piano, pop beats, and production value is unparalleled as well.

Make your ears happy and go listen to more PM Mirror at http://www.thepmmirror.com/home.html or go follow him on Spotify and Instagram @pmmirror !

– Zimmertime

Epilogue –

For some time now, I have been attending local Pittsburgh shows, following local artists, and plugging all types of talented Pittsburgh musicians through word of mouth, social media, and now A Beat A Day, so when my friend Annelise responded to one of my Instagram stories telling me I needed to listen to PM Mirror, I immediately did. Shout out Annelise because PM Mirror’s content is extraordinary. This type of music sharing and local support is what I live for. Collaboration, Supporting Others, and Community will bring Pittsburgh to the recognition of music it deserves. One Day At A Time. A Beat A Day.

‘Rolling Papers 2’ by Wiz Khalifa

The lyrics Wiz puts out on this track touch so many points about his life, where he’s been in the past, present, and where he’ll be in the future. I hear this unraveling as I listen to Verse 1, 2, and 3 – the past, present, and future.

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Like most, I’ve always been a Wiz fan. Even long long ago before I lived in Pittsburgh. But I have to admit that when I saw him at Thrival Festival in 2017 @ Carrie Furnace in Pittsburgh, my eyes were opened to the true talent he is. At this point in my life I had seen some big names in the game like Jay-Z, Kanye, Kendrick to name a few. It was clear since the first song at the show that Wiz had it all – stage presence, rapping, but most pleasantly, a singing voice that was the real deal. It put Wiz over the top for me to know first hand that he could literally do it all, singing included.

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The beat in this joint is simple and smooth. The piano adds the right amount of touch and emotion. Wiz brings it home throughout.

Rolling Papers 2 is a motivating song about going through the ups and downs. Wiz speaks to recognizing where one is at in their life. He challenges us to always do our best, make decisions and learn from mistakes, and follow one’s heart when it tells you to make that change.

“When it’s time to make a change, I ain’t gon’ fight it, fight it”

This song as well as the album seemed to go slightly under the radar…or maybe that’s just me? What do you think?

– Zimmertime

 

#tbt – ‘Told You So’ by Miguel

My favorite non-Pittsburgh artist of 2018 was…you guessed it Miguel. My favorite fashion brand of 2018…Pleasures. This song has an unbelievable sound lyrically and musically. The wavy vibe of Miguel’s voice plus the Tame Impala feeling of the song just brings the whole piece together so smoothly. Add in the fact that Miguel did a collab. with the trend setting street-wear brand Pleasures, and I’ve been hooked since day one.

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The song showed up on my top 5 songs of 2018 from Spotify…no surprise here. I have played it consistently in my cycle classes that I teach at 6ycle (shout out), and it’s been a staple for me since December 1st when Miguel released War & Leisure (underrated album fr.)  If you haven’t listened to this song, well sheeeet just go listen to it !!

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Miguel reppin’ that fire ‘Born x Raised’ long sleeve T – another shout out to Threads On Carson in Pittsburgh for reppin’ Born x Raised!

Told You So.

– Zimmertime

‘Put You On’ by Livefromthecity

Today’s beat is brought to you by Livefromthecity! Big bass bumpin’, melodic singing undertones, and an earworm chorus is what puts this song on front and center for today’s featured beat.

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Pictured: Livefromthecity
Photo Credit: Michael Schwartz

The song starts off with Live saying “For the city, for the city you know.” And if one and one thing only is true, it’s that Livefromthe7ity loves the 412.

To hear the song, check out the songlink below!

Put You On

– Zimmertime

‘Simple’ by Mars Jackson ft. Benji.

What’s up Pittsburgh, the rest of the world? It’s been about 2 years, but I’m getting back to writing about A BEAT A DAY, so I’m going to keep this “Simple” and break down the vibes on this track by Mars Jackson ft. Benji.

The beat starts off catchy and transitions into a wavy, electric-sounding organ over top to start the chorus off just right.

In verse 1 Mars spits seemingly nonchalant, flowin’ rhymes from start to end about the girl he is trying to get to know and ultimately woo over.

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In the 2nd verse, Benji. begins by singing clever lyrics on wanting to get to know a girl on another level – “Do you really like the things you like or you just like it how they gave it to you? Lift the package and it’s the product, and shawty they ain’t really bangin’ with you. I just wanna see what you’re all about…”

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It’s like he’s talking about the layers that make up a person, a girl in this case, and appreciating her for those layers that get peeled back as you get to know someone more and more.

Lyrics are always up for interpretation and to me both Mars and Benji. are talking about getting to know a girl on a real, meaningful level and doing exactly that can be Simple.

This is a ‘True fuckin’ playa credential’ song right here.

-Zimmertime