Words On Wednesday

2015-01-28 Money and Music

A little bit of money philosophy, a lot of music.

Every Dollar Spent

What if you could see every dollar you’ve spent, and what it went toward?

I was musing about how bad people in general are at saving money, when a thought occurred to me. What if we could take back specific purchases we’ve made in order to reclaim the money? Not like taking items back to stores for refunds, but to make it as if we never spent the money to begin with. There are plenty of things I probably shouldn’t have bought, and I would love to be able to reverse that.

As I continued pondering, I wondered about every dollar I’ve spent. All those rent payments that never put anything toward principal. Useless junk that I used once and threw away or stashed in a closet somewhere. Groceries that I’ve let go bad. Arcades, go karts, laser tag, and all those other temporary forays. I could’ve saved so much money if these had never happened.

More than just the purchases I regret, what about all my expenditures in total? How much money did I put toward getting my degree? Sure, I was fortunate enough to get financial assistance, but just tuition was $40 grand. That doesn’t count books, housing, meal plans, or time that could’ve been spent working if you want to go that route.

If you could see exactly where every dollar you’ve ever spent went, what would you think? Do you take pride in being frugal enough to not waste much money? Have you wasted more money than what you’ve saved or spent toward useful purchases? Would you be more encouraged to set aside a few dollars from each check if you had a better understanding of your past spending? A little financial and philosophical food for thought.

2015 Grammy Nominees

I picked up the latest Grammy Nominees album from the library, and I decided to give my critique of all the tracks.

Taylor Swift – Shake It Off: I like most of Taylor Swift’s singles, this is no exception. It’s not necessarily good, but it is catchy. Yes, I sing along with her. No, I am not ashamed of this.

Iggy Azalea feat. Charli XCX – Fancy: I absolutely despise Iggy Azalea, and Charli XCX isn’t much better. This song is a perfect manifestation of my hate for both. Despite the absurd obsession that so many people have with Iggy right now, I find her lyrical ability lacking and her voice annoys me.

Ed Sheeran – Sing: Somehow, Ed Sheeran flew under the radar for me and I just all of a sudden noticed that he’s really good. Nice voice, good lyrics, very listenable.

Ariana Grande feat. Iggy Azalea – Problem: This song appeals to me far more than I think it should. Ariana Grande is mediocre to me, but for some odd reason I like “Problem.” Before you freak out about me liking this song when I just said I hate Iggy Azalea, I still hate her. This song would be far better without her miserable excuse for rapping in it.

Meghan Trainor – All About That Bass: The first time I heard this song, I hated it. The second time, it was just OK. All 50,000 times since then? Loved it. I rock out to this song. It’s my jam, as the cool kids say.

Katy Perry feat. Juicy J – Dark Horse: Similar to Taylor Swift, I’m a fan of Katy Perry’s singles and not much else. Dark Horse is catchy, and Juicy J’s pretty good.

Coldplay – A Sky Full of Stars: I despise Coldplay. There isn’t a particular reason that I can pinpoint why, I just can’t stand them.

Miley Cyrus – Wrecking Ball: Reminds me of 90’s skating rink music. If it had the nostalgia of actual skating rink music, I might actually like it. Otherwise, it’s just meh. It brings to mind a funny picture of Pikachu, but that’s about it.

Sia – Chandelier: This song makes me physically cringe to listen to. Sia’s voice is garbage, that weird screaming or wailing that she calls singing. Plus, the music video for this song just reeks of pedo. Next.

John Legend – All of Me [Live]: Wasn’t the biggest fan of this song in its studio form, and I typically don’t like live recordings. There’s worse on the album, but this definitely isn’t my favorite.

Hozier – Take Me to Church: I wish Hozier didn’t have the crazy popularity he has, but Take Me to Church is pretty good. Not good enough to warrant the obsession I’m seeing everywhere, but good.

Beyonce feat. Jay-Z – Drunk in Love: I’m all about some Jay-Z, but he can’t even make this listenable for me. I like a little bit of Beyonce’s music, but not much. Not a fan of this one.

Pharrell Williams – Come Get It Bae: Not as catchy as… what was it… Happy? Yeah, Happy. But still pretty good. Not top of the album for me, but I can listen to it. I hate the term “bae,” but I’ll excuse it.

Sam Smith – Stay with Me: In my mind, Sam Smith is very much like Adele. People say he can sing. I can see why people would say that. Personally, I hate his voice. Not to say he *can’t* sing, necessarily, I just dislike it.

Beck – Blue Moon: It doesn’t stand out. I wouldn’t skip it, but I wouldn’t listen specifically to it. Decent instrumentals, mediocre vocals.

Keith Urban feat. Eric Church – Raise ‘Em Up: I guess it’s ok. I’m not the biggest fan of most pop country. It’s more pop than country, I suppose. Nothing special.

The Band Perry – Gentle On My Mind: Not as good as The Band Perry’s older stuff, but it’s alright. I like the instrumentals, but the vocals seem… mellowed? Not bad, but nothing worth seeking out.

Tim McGraw feat. Faith Hill – Meanwhile Back At Mama’s: Very thick country. I don’t like it, but I don’t like the genre. Hard for me to give an unbiased opinion on something I don’t like to begin with.

Carrie Underwood feat. Miranda Lambert – Something’ Bad: Surprisingly heavy for a country artist. The lyrics are forgettable, but I like the tune.

Little Big Town – Day Drinking: I hate FM radio, no doubt. One of the reasons why is because they overplay hits to the point that everyone hates them. I didn’t like this song very much from the beginning, and the ridiculous number of times that I’ve heard it doesn’t help that. It had potential, maybe, but the radio killed that.

Pharrell Williams – Happy [Live]: Again, I don’t typically like live recordings, but this one isn’t bad. Not quite as good as the studio recording, but I can listen to it. I’m not entirely sure why Pharrell has 2 songs on this album, though. Then again, why does Iggy?

Overall, I feel like the 2015 Grammy Nominees album is far better than the past few years. It’s still not what I would consider the best of the music industry (what I’m lead to believe the Grammy Awards are supposed to represent). There are far better bands out there, most of which get far less public representation than they should. The Grammy Awards are a twisted system to push pop music to the masses, but that’s not what I’m talking about here. I’m talking about an album of 21 tracks in and of itself. It’s alright. There are high points, there are low points, but I can listen to it through and not feel the need to skip many tracks. But while I’m there, somebody please tell me the last time a good rock artist won a rock category.

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