Snapshot Book Review: From Cradle to Stage

51foeswllhl-_sx331_bo1204203200_Title: From Cradle to Stage: Stories from the Mothers Who Rocked and Raised Rock Stars

Author: Virginia Hanlon Grohl

My Rating: ★★★★

Summary: “In From Cradle to Stage, Virginia Hanlon Grohl, mother of Foo Fighters frontman Dave Grohl, shares personal stories about Dave’s childhood alongside family anecdotes from fellow ‘rock moms.’

In exclusive interviews with the mothers of Michael Stipe, Adam Levine, Amy Winehouse, Miranda Lambert, Kelly Clarkson, Dr. Dre, and other other music stars, Grohl asked the questions only a mom could answer: When did you hear the first chords, the drumbeats, that stellar voice that announced that music was the future? Did you encourage your child’s passions despite the odds against success? Did you worry about the unknown, unpredictable road ahead? About possible dangers? About drugs? Do you still remind him to pack a warm coat when he leaves on tour?

These answers–along with never-before-seen family photographs and a heartwarming introduction by Dave Grohl–make From Cradle to Stage the ultimate insider look at the real making of a rock star.”

My Thoughts:

I really liked that the book had both vignettes from Grohl’s perspective on raising her own rock star as well as the longer stories of other moms. I found each chapter to be very interesting, if sometimes a bit brief. However, the book covers many different stories, so this is expected. I also enjoyed the fact that this book included mostly happy (or happier) stories of musicians, which is a refreshing change from the stories of death and destruction often told in stories of musicians. Although From Cradle to Stage tells stories of people from different backgrounds, Grohl does a great job of creating central themes. For example, she describes the importance of school systems that serve children who are creative, how a mother of a creative child should support that creativity and the similarities between many musicians.

Below are some quotes that stood out to me:

“It was in Germany, at the home of a babysitter, that Michael recalls his first musical memory. It was the Beatles song ‘Michelle’ playing on an old radio on a tall shelf. His memory is visual; he watched the radio dial as the song played. It didn’t change his life.” (From the chapter on Michael Stipe)

“But although other professions might gradually or subtly inspire children, music is a calling that doesn’t call softly or politely. It screams insistently. The musician WILL find a way.”

“They sold over sixteen million records in the relatively few years they recorded and once were introduced by Mary to an enormous arena as ‘the best f*#king band in the universe.'” (From the chapter on Tom Morello)


Comment Below: What good book(s) have you read recently?

Advertisements

My Favorite Unknown Foo Fighters Songs

As I just saw Foo Fighters live last week, I was inspired to make this playlist, consisting of some of my favorite songs of theirs that not as many people know. This list will not have “Everlong,” “My Hero” or “Best of You.” But it will have lots of other great songs! There is no order to the songs and these are certainly not all of my favorite songs because that’s just too hard to pick (there’s too many great songs!)

  1. Hey, Johnny Park!
  2. The Last Song
  3. Bridge Burning
  4. Wattershed
  5. Enough Space
  6. Arlandria
  7. Stacked Actors
  8. Disenchanted Lullaby
  9. Gimme Stitches
  10. The Feast and The Famine
  11. Arrows
  12. Congregation
  13. But, Honestly
  14. T-Shirt
  15. Something from Nothing
  16. Let It Die
  17. Friend of a Friend

You can hear the playlist here.

Halloween Playlist

Happy Halloween everybody! I hope you all have a good costume to wear or at least eat some good candy. I have finals (so a bunch of tests) to do today and tomorrow, so I’m just doing the latter. To celebrate this Halloween, I decided to make a playlist of songs that are creepy or sound that way. I’m not sure that the transitions are super smooth, as I had trouble making all of these songs flow together well, but I tried. Here it is:

  1. Thriller – Michael Jackson
  2. Milk and Cookies – Melanie Martinez
  3. Gasoline – Halsey
  4. Morphine – Michael Jackson
  5. One Eyed Girl – Hands Off Gretel
  6. Broomstick – L7
  7. Blood on the Dance Floor – Michael Jackson
  8. Mad Hatter – Melanie Martinez
  9. Eating Simon – Hands Off Gretel
  10. Threatened – Michael Jackson

You can hear the playlist on Spotify here.

Book Review: The Merciless (The Merciless #1)

First off, I just want to apologize, as it has been a whole 3 months since posting on this blog! That is way longer than I wanted to go, but sometimes I just don’t know where my time goes. A lot does go to my homework, for sure. Also, I am going to try something new with my book reviews. With each review, I am going to make a playlist of songs on Spotify that I will link at the end of each review. I’ve been wanting a way to talk more about music and I think this will help do that. The music will also add to the overall mood of the book. Anyway, on to the review!


18667769Title: The Merciless

Author: Danielle Vega

My Rating: ★★★1/2

Summary: “Brooklyn Stevens sits in a pool of her own blood, tied up and gagged. No one outside of these dank basement walls knows she’s here. No one can hear her scream. Sofia Flores knows she shouldn’t have gotten involved. When she befriended the popular girls on her first day at school, she admired their perfect hair and their good-girl ways. They said they wanted to save Brooklyn. They wanted to help her. Sofia didn’t realize they believed Brooklyn was possessed. Now Sofia’s new friends are performing an exorcism on Brooklyn. But their idea of an exorcism is closer to torture than salvation.”

My Thoughts:

The Merciless was intriguing from the beginning. The book stayed that way (for the most part) until the last page. This led to a fast read because there was hardly ever a dull moment. It may have taken me a long time to finish, (again because of school), but I sped through the pages when I did pick it up.

One aspect of the book I was disappointed by were the characters. As other reviews have noted, The Merciless is not a very new plot in terms of the characters. This was not always pointed out in a negative way either, as MTV said, “Mean Girls with an occult twist.” However, I felt the lack of depth the characters made the book less exciting, as the characters didn’t feel original. The basic plot is the same: there’s a new girl at school who makes friends with the most popular clique. Obviously, the plot was a lot darker than Mean Girls, but the base of the story was one I definitely recognized. In addition to this, the relationships between the characters fell a little flat, so I didn’t care as much about them as I could have. Stronger relationships between the characters would have helped later on in the story.

Something Vega did a good job of was making this book really gross. I mean this in the best way possible. The Merciless is a horror series, so the fact I cringed a lot and couldn’t read it too close to bed for the fear of not being able to sleep is a compliment. It was pretty graphic throughout the book. For example:

“Riley presses the knife into Brooklyn’s exposed thigh and pulls the blade toward her knee. She moves the knife so slowly that I hear the skin rip seconds before a thin red line of blood appears on Brooklyn’s leg.”

Overall, I really enjoyed the book and would recommend it to YA readers with strong stomachs.


Playlist:

For this playlist, I picked songs that have a creepy atmosphere to them, including some that are actually about scary things. For example, “Eating Simon” by Hands Off Gretel is about basically what the title states. It talks about a girl who fell in love with a boy named Simon so much so that she wanted him to be a part of her forever…so she ate him. (Lauren Tate, the lead singer’s description, not mine. That is not an interpretation, it’s actually what the song is about). With some (hopefully most) of the songs, I will link a live performance. The link to the whole Spotify playlist will be at the bottom of the post.

  1. Morphine – Michael Jackson
  2. Eating Simon – Hands Off Gretel
  3. Voodoo – Adam Lambert
  4. Mad Hatter – Melanie Martinez
  5. Threatened – Michael Jackson
  6. Control – Halsey

You can listen to the playlist here.


Thanks for reading! ❤

So 2016…

2016 was not a good year for many, many people. I could name many reasons that 2016 was a hard year, but that doesn’t seem very helpful. There are enough people pointing out the bad parts, so I thought I’d make a post about the good parts of this year. Here are some things that went well for me this year:

  1. I fell in love with some great bands: Foo Fighters, Hole, Nirvana and Hands Off Gretel.
  2. I went to two great concerts with my friends! I saw Troye Sivan in February and Melanie Martinez in March, here are some videos from them:
    1. Melanie Martinez
    2. Troye Sivan
      1. (Creds. to my friends!)
  3. I met my friend Taryn for the first time in person (and we didn’t take a picture for some dumb reason ughhhh).
  4. I finished my sophomore year of high school.
  5. I survived my first quarter of IB classes as a junior.
  6. Bruno Mars released a great new album, and I made plans to go see him when he comes to Minnesota! On August 5, 2017!
  7. I made this blog.
  8. I made new friends and got closer some other friends.
  9. I wrote more (still not as much as I wanted to though).
  10. I had fun with my hair by cutting it really short and then months later dying it (twice):

    What was good for you in 2016? I hope you have a great 2017!

Slow to Post

This post might be a little unnecessary, as I find I don’t post much anyway, even when I’m not in school. Either way, my posts have slowed down and will probably be close to non-existent for a while, primarily because of school. I’m not very skilled at time management when it comes to school and blogging (and reading), so this blog will have to take a back seat. I am going to be posting when I can, but that may not be very much. For example, I planned on posting recaps for every episode of Once Upon A Time this season, but I haven’t gotten a single one up. Anyway, I hope you all understand, and I hope you have a good week!

Birthday Music Haul

So just like last time, this haul is pretty late. My birthday was August 19, and now it’s three weeks later…oh well.


Anyway, I got some really good music for my birthday, so I thought I would share them with you.

My friend Lauren got me this one, so thank you!! (If you’re reading this).

live_through_thisTitle: Live Through This

Artist: Hole

Rating: ★★★★★

Favorite Song: All of them! I do really love all of these songs, but I’ll try to pick a few faves: VioletI Think I Would DieRock Star and Miss World.

 

 

For the next album, I have a bit of a funny story. Since my parents also know how much I love Live Through This, they went to The Electric Fetus and got it for me on vinyl. Since I already got a copy a few days earlier, I exchanged it for another great album.

foo_fighters_in_your_honorTitle: In Your Honor

Artist: Foo Fighters

Rating: ★★★★1/2

Favorite Songs: Since it’s split in half, with the first half being loud, and the second half being much softer, I’m choosing a couple from each side, because I can’t chose just a couple overall. Fast side: In Your Honor, The Last Song, Free Me and Best Of You. Acoustic side: What If I Do?, Another Round, Friend of a Friend and Cold Day In The Sun. I really like Cold Day In The Sun, because Taylor Hawkins does the vocals, rather than Dave Grohl, and I love hearing his voice as well.


Comment Below: Have you bought any good music lately?

Top 5 Wednesday: Favorite First Sentences

Top 5 Wednesday was created by gingerreadslainey and hosted by Thoughts on Tomes. To join or learn more about T5W, go to the Goodreads group here. This week, we’re talking about our favorite first sentences of books. There are so many good starts to books I couldn’t mention here, but here are some great ones!


1. Harry Potter and the Sorcerers Stone by J. K. Rowling

“Mr. and Mrs. Dursley, of number four, Privet Drive, were proud to say that they were perfectly normal, thank you very much.”

2. The Lost Hero (The Heroes of Olympus, Book One) by Rick Riordan 

“Even before he got electrocuted, Jason was having a rotten day.”

3. An Abundance of Katherines by John Green

“The morning after noted child prodigy Colin Singleton graduated from high school and got dumped for the nineteenth time by a girl named Katherine, he took a bath.”

4. Binge by Tyler Oakley 

“Go ahead, binge. I’m not saying go out and snort a bunch of cocaine or do anything that’s going to seriously put you or the people around you in danger, obviously.” (Okay that was two, but it’s really good, and I wanted to put it in. I’m sorry. Kill me. *Is way to sarcastically dramatic for no reason*)

5. Wintergirls by Laurie Halse Anderson

“So she tells me, the words dribbling out with the cranberry muffin crumbs, commas dunked in her coffee.”


Comment Below: What is a great first line from a book you know?

Book Review: Save Me, Kurt Cobain

22055480Title: Save Me, Kurt Cobain

Author: Jenny Manzer

My Rating: ★★★★

Goodreads Summary: Nico Cavan has been adrift since her mother vanished when she was four—maternal abandonment isn’t exactly something you can just get over. Staying invisible at school is how she copes—that and listening to alt music and summoning spirits on the Ouija board with her best friend and co-conspirator in sarcasm, Obe. But when a chance discovery opens a window onto her mom’s wild past, it sparks an idea in her brain that takes hold and won’t let go.

On a ferry departing Seattle, Nico encounters a slight blond guy with piercing blue eyes wearing a hooded jacket. Something in her heart tells her that this feeling she has might actually be the truth, so she follows him to a remote cabin in the Pacific Northwest. When she is stranded there by a winter storm, fear and darkness collide, and the only one who can save Nico might just be herself.”

My Thoughts:

I was pulled in from the very page. Nico, the narrator, starts talking about the day her mother disappeared, which is sad of course. However, it makes me want to know more about her mother and the story behind her disappearance. The pacing is good after the beginning, too. Nothing felt too fast or too slow, and kept me interested throughout the book. Because of the pacing and the intriguing storyline, Save Me, Kurt Cobain was a fun and fast read.

One of the things I really liked about this book are the chapter titles, because they are Nirvana song titles. They helped give an idea of what the chapter would be about in a creative way. Additionally, I liked how there were some musical puns/references throughout the book. It helped tie the book together, and was just cool to read. For example:

I hate myself and I want to die, I thought, trying it on for size. I’m not even sure the words held any meaning. I wondered if that was how Kurt Cobain felt singing the band’s big hits over and over.”

(I Hate Myself  and I Want To Die is a Nirvana song).

The characters in Save Me, Kurt Cobain are nowhere near boring. Every character has an interesting story and quirks, which made them fun to read about. Not only are the characters interesting and intriguing, but they are also easy to relate to.

I haven’t made this disclaimer yet, so I guess I’ll make it now: although I would recommend this book to most people, if you dislike 90’s alternative rock music, I would definitely not recommend this book. (But if you don’t…why?! Not even Smells Like Teen Spirit? Not even Miss World?) Here’s why: (even though it’s pretty self explanatory), that’s exactly what the book is about. That being said, if you like Kurt Cobain, Nirvana, or any other 90’s alternative rock band, you will find yourself right at home here. Other than reminding me why I love Nirvana so much (too much. I think it’s actually bad for my health), this book reminded me that I really need to go listen to Mudhoney, Bikini Kill, Sonic Youth, etc. since I haven’t gotten around to that yet…

As many books do, this book hit me right in the feels. This book hit me in a different part of my feels though. It hit my Nirvana feels over and over again. (And passed them back and forth…)

tumblr_lxtczqhpzs1r98rqco1_500
Me when making that Drain You pun

(“Chew my meat for you/pass it back and forth in a passionate kiss/from my mouth to yours” are lyrics from Drain You, a song off of Nevermind. Also, the Foo Fighters have a great song called Back and Forth I would also recommend).

Anyway…the descriptions of Kurt and the band as a whole are so good and accurate. It reminded me of how great they really were and made me a little sad, too, because of what I just said. For example:

“When Kurt Cobain played his guitar, he looked weightless, like a blonde marionette. I can still picture the black-and-white concert photos of him. Rising up, slamming down the chords, then smashing stuff.”

Not only the way he performed, but also who he was as a person. For example:

“Cobain had shunned mainstream popularity on one hand while rabidly pursuing rock stardom with the other, berating his managers for inadequate promotion, and dumping Seattle’s Sub Pop for a bigger label. Cobain was, it seemed, the most ambitious twentysomething slacker you could ever meet.”

Overall, Save Me, Kurt Cobain was a good book that tells a unique story about loss, friendship and really good music.


Comment Below: Have you read a good book related to music you would recommend?