Struts & Frets, a music-themed book by Jon Skovron, is now published in paperback in the UK by Amulet Books with an awesome new cover! I like books about characters who love music, because music is a big part of my life and I don't think there's enough YA centred around it. Struts & Frets is a brilliant, funny, heartfelt read that I would recommend to everyone. Read the following extract and see what you think!
You can also view the extract a little easier by clicking HERE.
So, because Struts & Frets is all about music, I thought I'd write about some of my favourite music. Like I mentioned earlier, music is a HUGE part of my life. I have a very eclectic taste and like a bit of everything, but my favourite genre is still "emo" or "emo hardcore" and rock from around 1998 onwards.
I love music because it fits every mood, it makes me happy and there's almost nothing better than seeing your favourite band play live. Anyway, before I continure rambling for longer than this blog post should be, here's a list of my top 5 (actually 6; I cheated) musical people and accompanying YouTube videos. I recommend all these bands/artists to everyone!
1. Jimmy Eat World
Jimmy Eat World have been my FAVOURITE EVER band since summer 2001, when I first heard 'A Praise Chorus' on a free Kerrang! CD. After that I heard 'Bleed American' and that was basically the song to end all songs. They were the first band I ever saw live at my very first gig on November 9th 2001, when I was 14, and I'll never forget it. Their lyrics frequently make me tear up, and I think I've listened to their records more than any other. I've seen them in Manchester 5 times so far, and I'm hoping they tour again soon!
2. Coheed and Cambria
CoCa are SO close to Jimmy Eat World, but they just fall slightly behind. They're absolutely amazing - both live and on record - and they will always remain one of my all-time favourites. Their music is a sci-fi story, with each concept album adding to it. Claudio's voice is so unique and mesmerising, and when I met him he hugged me and I got lost in his giant afro-type hair. If you've never heard them before, you are in for a treat! Oh and here's a little fact: I own 14 different t-shirts. Most people I know have seen me wear at least one.
3. Brand New
I really don't know where to start talking about Brand New. I discovered them around 2001, when 'Your Favorite Weapon' started showing up in shops around here. Jesse Lacey's lyrics are unbelievable, his voice is magical and their CDs always brighten up my day (I'm listening to them now, in fact). They're an intense band, but I truly believe they're one of a kind. I have tickets to see them again next year, time #5, and I'm counting down the days!
4. Snow Patrol
Ah, Snow Patrol. One of the most amazing bands ever. The lyrics, music, Gary Lightbody... I love all of it. They're also amazing live, and have a similar intensity to Brand New. I was late getting into Snow Patrol - it was in 2006 at my first full-time job (Music Zone head office), just as 'Chasing Cars' was ruling the airwaves. I never looked back, and 'Final Straw' is an album that will always be one of my favourites.
5. Florence and the Machine.
Some people will know that I have a small obsession with Flo. She's like a goddess, full stop. Her voice is immense, 'Cosmic Love' and 'Blinding' have been the soundtrack to my life for a good couple of years now, and I've had the pleasure of seeing her live once. My friend and I were genuinely rendered speechless during and after the show, and on the way home we could only mutter one syllable words like 'wow' and things I can't possibly post here. Everyone knows who Flo is now, which is amazing. She deserves every second of her success... roll on Halloween and album #2!
6. The National
I couldn't do a top music list without mentioning these guys, who happen to be one of my more recent discoveries (early 2010, I think). All I'll say on the subject is please, please buy 'High Violet'. It's one of the greatest compilations of songs ever recorded, and I'm in love with Matt's baritone voice. Their songs have started cropping up on numerous US TV shows (Gossip Girl, The Vampire Diaries etc..), so they're well on their way to cracking the mainstream market. I cannot wait to hear what they come up with next!