Sunday, December 31, 2023

Music Picks - Best Artists and Songs for 2023 and Previous Years

From 2010 - 2018 each year I posted a list of my favorite songs of the year. Then I took a break from this series. Now after 5 years, I have a new list of artists and songs to recommend so I figured I would post them here on the blog to share. 

This list contains music released in 2023 as well as some from previous years. It is mostly songs that are not super popular, at least not yet at the time of this posting. Here are my picks for the best songs from 2023 and previous years:

1. CARR - Industry Kids

I just randomly discovered CARR after a quick search for new music on Spotify. I would describe her sound as similar to artists like Avril Lavigne, Jax, and Damone. Her music reminds me of the indie rock scene of the early 2000's. She has put out a few albums of the past few years. I listened to all of them and all the songs are good! What's interesting is it seems she has not blown up yet. I could see an artist like this easily having millions of views and followers but so far she seems to be flying under the radar. Other songs to check out also: Sick Bro, Spiral City.


2. Jax - Victoria's Secret

Jax is a singer songwriter that recently caught my attention with her anthem Victoria's Secret. She has distinctive singing voice and a knack for catchy tunes that stand out from the other pop songs. Power chords and a meaningful message make this song a hit. Also check out other songs from Jax including Cinderella Snapped and 90s Kids

3. Bo Burnham - From God's Perspective 
Bo is known for his comedy specials which include a number of original songs which are very good even on their own. My favorite would have to be From God's Perspective which is an equally funny yet deep song about God's thoughts on humanity. Wonderfully composed, written, and performed. Also check out songs: Straight White Man and Can't Handle This
4. Gary Portnoy - Temporary
Gary Portnoy is most known for making making one of the greatest theme songs of all time, the theme song to Cheers, but he also has released plenty of his own music such as this song called Temporary. It's an autobiographical song about his childhood friend which leads to a revelation about life itself. Also check out the songs Lee and Life on the Outside

5. Carly Rae Jepsen - Comeback
Carly has a lot of pop hits and one of my recent favorites is the song Comeback. In collaboration with producer Jack Antonoff from The Bleachers, they have made a wonderful song here with haunting synths and soundscapes. 

Tuesday, December 5, 2023

The cost of everything has gotten too expensive. Price of food and and inflation out of control.

As we near the end of 2023 the cost of living has skyrocketed. Ever since the pandemic the cost of everything has increased dramatically. Even the price of basic necessities like food and housing have gotten out of control. A little inflation each year is expected, but the increases we have seen over the past few years have been way too much. And the problem is that salaries and income from jobs have not increased to match it.

I don't know how many people are managing it these days. I am getting by but that is because I was in the habit of living a very frugal lifestyle even before all of this started happening. I saved up and continue to live even more frugally so I am ok, but for the average person living paycheck to paycheck without savings, they are pretty much screwed.

I'm not expert in economics but there does not really seem to be a reason for the dramatic increase in cost of living other than everyone just trying to get more money and stay ahead of the curve. The cost one thing will go up and then everything related to that goes up to try to make up the difference. Ultimately the consumer at the end is hit with a higher bill.

I can understand how the pandemic caused big issues with supply and demand and it had a huge effect on the workforce, but it is long over with and things have not changed back to how they were, they have only gotten worse.

I think there is a certain amount of greed involved with companies raising the cost of goods that people need and people keep buying them because they feel like they don't have a choice.

As far as I am concerned, I am not tolerating these price hikes. Certain grocery stores that I used to shop at on a regular basis, I no longer even step foot into. Certain food that I used to buy every week I no longer buy anymore because the price has nearly doubled in the past year or so. I changed my frugal buying habits into being even more frugal because I will not support these price increases. I think more people have to do the same to send a message that these prices have gotten out of control.

If things don't change, people will need to make more money and they will demand higher pay from their jobs. Then of course this will make companies raise prices on goods and the cycle just continues to get worse.

We just need to get some stability in the economy back. Maybe government needs to step in to put some regulation in place. Maybe more people have to stop putting up with these price increases. If people can no longer afford to pay for basic living expenses while working a full time job, this could lead to even more serious problems.