TRW link: Musipedia

Posted by kacates on October 22, 2010

Ever had a tune stuck in your head, but you just can't remember the title, who sang it, or even any of the lyrics?  Rather than go insane trying to figure out where your stray song came from, try looking it up at Musipedia.  Musipedia is an online, Wikipedia-like service that helps users find song titles and artists using what they can remember of the tune.  If you're at all musically inclined, you can choose to enter the tune by playing a Flash-based piano keyboard.  You can also whistle or hum the tune into a microphone, or even tap out a rhythm.  It's pretty good – I tried it with several songs, including the first few notes of the worst earworm of all, Rick Astley's Never Gonna Give You Up, and it got them all.

Yet more TRW book recommendations

Posted by kacates on October 21, 2010

Just Listen by Sarah Dessen 

When Annabel, the youngest of three beautiful sisters, has a bitter falling out with her best friend Sophie, she suddenly finds herself isolated and friendless. But then she meets Owen—a loner, passionate about music and his weekly radio show, and always determined to tell the truth. And when they develop a friendship, Annabel is not only introduced to new music but is encouraged to listen to her own inner voice. with Owen's help, can Annabel find the courage to speak out about what exactly happened the night her friendship with Sophie came to a screeching halt?

Heavy Metal and You by Chris Krovatin 

Boy listens to lots of loud music and hangs with his friends. Boy meets girl. Boy falls dippy-happy-scared-as-hell in love with girl. Friends meet girl – and aren't impressed. Girl meets friends – and isn't impressed. Boy meets big dilemma. Boy plays music even louder. Big dilemma meets big, complicated resolution.

Knuckle Sandwich by Adam Palmer 

Bass player Jeremiah Springfield was born to rock. The son of a musician, Jeremiah was raised on a steady diet of his father's classic seventies rock albums. When Jeremiah meets enigmatic singer/songwriter Matt Ripke and Liz Bennett, a beautiful and talented drummer, it's a match made in Christian rock heaven. Soon the group is tearing up the youth group scene and making quite the name for themselves. But when they move from the small towns to a national tour, they learn quickly that fame isn't everything. This is the break the band has been hoping for, but can they survive life in the spotlight with all its temptation and distraction?

When the Black Girl Sings by Bil Wright

Lahni Schuler is the only black student at her private prep school. She's also the adopted child of two loving, but white, parents who are on the road to divorce.  When Lahni and her mother attend a local church one Sunday, Lahni hears an amazing gospel choir, and her life takes an unexpected turn. It so happens that one of Lahni's teachers, Mr. Faringhelli, has nominated her for a talent competition, and she is expected to perform a song in front of the whole school. Lahni decides to join the church choir to help her become a better singer. But what starts out as a way to practice singing becomes a place of belonging and a means for Lahni to discover her own identity.

More TRW recommendations and a video

Posted by kacates on October 20, 2010

Jimi and Me by Jaime Adoff 

After his father is murdered, Keith and his mother try desperately to pick up the pieces of their lives. But his father’s death has left them devastated—both emotionally and financially. Forced to leave Brooklyn and move in with his aunt, Keith urgently clings to every last reminder of his dad, discovering comfort in his own music and that of the late legend—and his father’s idol—Jimi Hendrix. In Jimi’s music, Keith finds solace, and brief moments of reprieve from his chaotic new life. But just as he begins to get a handle on his father’s death, he discovers the secrets of his father’s life–secrets that threaten to tear apart what’s left of his fragile family.

Nick and Norah's Infinite Playlist by Rachel Cohn and David Levithan 

Nick frequents New York’s indie rock scene nursing a broken heart and Norah is questioning all of her assumptions about the world. Though they have nothing in common except for their taste in music, their chance encounter leads to an all-night quest to find a legendary band’s secret show and ends up becoming the first date that could change both their lives.

Born to Rock by Gordon Korman 

Leo Caraway—high school senior, president of the Young Republicans club, 4.0 GPA, future Harvard student—had his entire future perfectly planned out.  When Leo discovers that his real father is a punk rock legend, he is disgusted.  But when a misunderstanding leads to Leo's scholarship to Harvard being taken away, he hatches the crazy plan of going on tour with King Maggot for Purge’s summer revival tour, all the while secretly hoping to convince Maggot to pay for his tuition. But life on the road is even crazier than Leo ever bargained for, and before the summer is out, he will finally discover the surprising truth about his dad, his friends, and most important, himself.

Somebody Everybody Listens To by Suzanne Supplee 

Retta Lee Jones is blessed with a beautiful voice and has big dreams of leaving her tiny Tennessee hometown. With a beaten down car, a pocketful of hard-earned waitressing money, and stars in her eyes, Retta sets out to make it big in Nashville. But the road to success isn’t a smooth one in a town filled with dreamers, and Retta begins to have doubts: can she make her mark while staying true to herslf?

Now enjoy this video of a dancing cockatoo:

Teen Read Week recommendations and link

Posted by kacates on October 19, 2010

Spotlighting a few great books with beat you can check out here at NPL:

Audrey, Wait! by Robin Benway 

California high school student Audrey Cuttler dumps self-involved Evan, the lead singer of a little band called The Do-Gooders. Evan writes “Audrey, Wait!,” a break-up song that’s so good it rockets up the billboard charts. And Audrey is suddenly famous!  Now rabid fans are invading her school. People is running articles about her arm-warmers. The lead singer of the Lolitas wants her as his muse. And the Internet is documenting her every move! Audrey can’t hang out with her best friend or get with her new crush without being mobbed by fans and paparazzi.  But will she ever get the chance to show the world who she really is?

Fat Kid Rules the World – K.L. Going 

Troy Billings is seventeen, 296 pounds, friendless, utterly miserable, and about to step off a New York subway platform in front of an oncoming train. Until he meets Curt MacCrae, an emaciated, semi-homeless, high school dropout guitar genius, the stuff of which Lower East Side punk rock legends are made. Never mind that Troy’s dad thinks Curt’s a drug addict and Troy’s brother thinks Troy’s the biggest (literally) loser in Manhattan. Soon, Curt’s recruited Troy as his new drummer—even though Troy can’t play the drums. Together, Curt and Troy will change the world of punk, and Troy’s own life, forever.

The Vinyl Princess by Yvonne Prinz 

Summer is here, and self-professed music geek Allie is exactly where she wants to be: working at Berkeley’s ultra-cool Bob and Bob Records. There, Allie can spend her days bantering with the street people, talking the talk with the staff, shepherding the uncool bridge-and-tunnel shoppers, all the while blissfully surrounded by music, music, music. It’s the perfect setup for her to develop her secret identity as The Vinyl Princess, author of both a brand-new zine and blog. But business at Allie’s beloved record store is becoming dangerously slow—not to mention that there have been a string of robberies in the neighborhood. At least her blog seems to be gaining interest, one vinyl junkie at a time…

Struts and Frets by Jon Skovron 

Music is in Sammy’s blood. His grandfather was a jazz musician, and Sammy’s indie rock band could be huge one day—if they don’t self-destruct first. Winning the upcoming Battle of the Bands would justify all the band’s compromises and reassure Sammy that his life’s dream could become a reality. But practices are hard to schedule when Sammy’s grandfather is sick and getting worse, his mother is too busy to help either of them, and his best friend may want to be his girlfriend. When everything in Sammy’s life seems to be headed for major catastrophe, will his music be enough to keep him together?

And now for a great link!  If you're like me, sometimes you get stuck in a music rut and feel the need to freshen up your playlist a little bit.  If you want to find new bands to follow based on your current favorites, check out TuneGlue, a really cool music-mapping site.  Just type in your favorite band in the search bar, then click on nodes to expand your options and find new bands.