P.O.S. interview.

18222009_1533866309978988_4725424242200223879_n.png

I interview P.O.S. and Damu the Fudge Monk in the latest issue of Ghettoblaster magazine. Go pick it up at all fine bookstores.

Advertisements

Perfect Albums

Perfect albums are where every last element could not be improved from the compositions to the performances to the production and album art. EVERYTHING is just magic. Here are some of my favorite “Perfect Albums”

image

Rumors by Fleetwood Mac
This album is just amazing front to back. And songs like “The Chain” just send it over the top

 

image

Kind of Blue by Miles Davis
The king of Jazz in arguably his finest record.

 

image

Dark side of the Moon by Pink Floyd
This is one of my personal favorites. And if you have never done the Dark Side of the Rainbow you need to ASAP. This record just flows from one song to the next in the most incredible way. When the album ends you are not left wanting more because there is just nothing more to add.

 

image

To Dust by Alice Russell
I don’t think I could possibly pick a favorite song on this record. They are all so fantastic. Her sultry smooth voice illuminates every song on this album.

 

image

Blood on the Tracks by Bob Dylan
From the opened “Tangled up in Blue” to “Buckets of Rain” this record is perfect. It is some of Dylan’s finest writing and one of his most heartbreaking recordings.

 

image

My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy by Kanye West
If there is a single record that proves hip hop is art, this is the one. Edgy and amazing from start to finish. Do yourself a favor and get the vinyl version with all the extra artwork.

 

image

Dogman by King’s X
Some have claimed that King’s X invented grunge. I have no idea if that is true, but this is one of the best rock records ever made. From the in your face “Dogman” to open the record followed by three part harmony in “Shoes” this record is just a fantastic ride every second.

 

image

Speaking in Tongues by Talking Heads
Certainly one of the more unusual groups in this list, but once they grab you the Talking Heads will never leave your subconscious. From the hit “Burning Down the House” to the groove infused “Slippery People” this album delivers.

 

image

In Utero by Nirvana
Somehow even though they were huge superstars by this point they managed to put out a half punk half grunge record that still managed to dominate the charts. It’s still so raw to listen to. Ending the twelve tracks with “All Apologies” is just such a perfect finish to this sublime record.

 

image

Entroducing…. By DJ Shadow
Everyone that loves music needs to put on their headphones close their eyes and list to tracks like “Building Steam with A Grain of Salt”, “What Does Your Soul Look Like – Pt. 4” and “Midnight in A Perfect World”. This record proved that sampling was an art unto itself. Just beautiful.

 

image

Play by Moby
After his failed album “Animal Rights” and getting dropped from his label, Moby thought his music career was basically over and decided to put out one last album as a goodbye. Full of soul and blues samples this album lit the world on fire. It was the first album to license out every song for commercial use. My personal favorite song on the record is “Run On” and I could listen to that for days and days.

 

image

The Black Album by Jay Z
This album also had a slew of hits, from “Dirt Off Your Shoulder” to “99 problems”. To my friends that have not gotten into hip hop this is the perfect intro record. This album sticks to your soul and refuses to let go.

 

image

Texas Flood by Stevie Ray Vaughn
It’s just amazing straight forward blues. “Texas Flood” has my favorite Stevie Ray Vaughn song on it “Pride and Joy”. The whole record is just soooo smooth.

 

image

Blue by Joni Mitchell
This is Joni in her prime. This is another record that I would listen to all day long, day after day. It so passionate and personal. Perfect.

 

image

 

Aenima by Tool
What can I say, it’s Tool. It’s arguably the best progressive metal record of all time. How can you not love it?

 

So that’s my short list. What’s yours?

How I automated life to have more free time.

*Image Gears of Time by Majentta

What are the things you really want to do in life? I often ask myself if money was no object at all, what would I eliminate? For me I would eliminate the following.

#1 driving

#2 cleaning

#3 laundry

#4 shopping for groceries and other household items

#5 paying bills and money management

Notice how cooking is not on the list, I enjoy cooking for the most part and make the same meals over and over as well as cook in advance for myself. What are things I would more of if I had the time? I would like to spend my time

#1 enjoying friends and family

#2 creating music

#3 building a business

#4 getting in shape

#5 traveling

The question became how could I automate the things I didn’t want to do, and do more of the things I did want to do right now. Even if it means spending an extra hour drinking wine with a friend or two, I much prefer that to cleaning. So what could I do to eliminate most of these items now for very little money?

First of all you could eliminate driving with just Lyft and Uber, if you mix in public transportation in most cities you should be good to go, and if you factor in car insurance, fuel, car payments, and maintenance you can often be money ahead. My issue here was that I live in the Midwest and I drive probably 40 miles a day to places Lyft doesn’t go to. So this was just impractical. I am still searching for a solution here. Any thoughts on this? This article from Zen habits has some insights but I still can’t completely make the switch. Suggestions anyone?

On to cleaning. This was easy enough, I found an inexpensive cleaning service on Craigslist and pay them to do a deep clean of my place twice a month. I do still clean from time to time, but for the most part I need to do very little. Total cost is $130 a month. This saves me probably 4-5 hours a month. WELL worth it. I can not tell you how nice it is to come home every other Monday to a spotlessly clean home.

Laundry was also pretty simple to cross off the list. I just put out a Craigslist ad that basically said “come over, watch Netflix, do laundry” and that got sorted out quickly. I get all my cloths and bedding washed for under $100 a month. Simple. This saves me 3-4 hours a month easy.

Shopping for groceries and household items took a while to tweak and get right, but basically I use a combination of Amazon Subscribe and Save and my local grocery store’s delivery service. Subscribe and save is an amazing service that Amazon provides. The idea is that you automatically order a few items every month, you can have an item be delivered every month like toilet paper or every six months like band aids. It took a few months to get everything timed correctly, but now it runs like a finely tuned machine. I get things like toothpaste, toilet paper, olive oil, canned goods etc on Amazon. Then I use my local grocery chain and can order right on their website for fresh produce and get my food delivered for free if it’s over $100 (it usually is) I have a meal plan that I follow every week that never changes and so my grocery needs rarely change. I can order all the groceries and have them delivered in literally on click. All I have to do is put them away. Between these two services I easily save 4-5 hours a month. And other than the time to set it up and tweak everything I don’t pay any more than if I went to the store, and now I am not tempted to buy any impulse items. Everything has a specific use. It’s great, and helps on the health front to as I can control all the meals easily.

The final item was finance. Paying bills, paying off debt and so on. Of everything that should be automated, finances should be the top of that list. I wanted every bill paid automatically, with my credit score going up and debt getting paid down fast. All while building a savings account and spending money when I wanted for my own enjoyment guilt free. I have tried a few systems, but the best was this one from Ramit. Basically all bills get paid automatically to a credit card and that card gets paid off automatically. Any bills that can’t get paid are set up on auto bill pay from the bank account. You never get late fee’s this way and it runs like a dream. Of course DON’T spend more than you make each month. But for the most part you only have to carry around one credit card and you are done. Simple. The as far as debt goes I use the basic Dave Ramsey debt snowball method. Debt sucks for the most part and once my student loans are paid off I never plan on going into any more of it. But all this is automatable. I save probably 2-3 hours a month, automating and actually SAVE a bunch of money because I never get charged late fees and the money just handles itself. Just keep an eye on things maybe once a month and you are good to go.

That’s what I have been playing with so far, as of late I have been experimenting automating my health and training, but that’s a story for another post. Of course so much of this is inspired by guys like Tim Ferriss and Ramit from I will teach you to be rich. But once you get on the automation train it’s amazing how much you can do in life with very little effort. I could never go back. On a conservative estimate I save about 13 hours of time and actually save money as a whole. Talk about intentional living.