I discovered alternative music at the age of 15, but my first run-in with the kind've music supported at Absolutepunk was when I was 14, after hearing Jimmy Eat World's 'Sweetness' on a fan-created music video. Soon afterwards I bought Bleed American and Green Day's International Superhits at the same time...I still think the former's better.
A year later I decided to pick up a copy of Kerrang! magazine, after deciding that music was something I figured people of my age should be passionate about, and I felt I didn't know enough about it. It was a '100 Greatest Songs of All-Time' issue (which I'm sure there've been at least 5 more of since), and I got my friends to send me a few of them, and downloaded the rest. Prior to this I'd only really been a fan of Ash and Daft Punk, but now I'd discovered a whole different world.
I saw my first live show about half a year later...Sum 41 at Wembly Arena. We were seated, and thus about half a mile away from the stage: a position I've only ever been in at gigs twice, and didn't enjoy at all. Thankfully a few months I saw Bowling For Soup at the Astoria, which was my first time in a pit, and it wasn't so bad, even if I didn't know much by the band. My first truly memorable gig, however, was seeing Yellowcard at the Islington Academy. Whilst the band were fine, it was the atmosphere in the crowd and being there with a good friend that made it an amazing experience, and one I decided to get as often as possible.
It's now 2006; I've been to about 50 or so gigs since then, and I've regretted few (mainly the Red Hot Chilli Peppers and a few very small bands). I'm now a radio host on my University's station, though my style of music is indie, I'll always try and sneak a bit of my favourites in there.
Jimmy Eat World - Clarity,
Death Cab for Cutie - Transatlanticism,
...And You Will Know Us By The Trail Of Dead - Source Tags & Codes,
Thrice - Vheissu,
The Format - Dog Problems,
The Get Up Kids - Guilt Show,
The Dismemberment Plan - Emergency & I,
The Blood Brothers - Burn Piano Island, Burn
The Get Up Kids - The One You Want (Live! @ the Granada Theater),
Jimmy Eat World - 23,
Jimmy Eat World - Table For Glasses,
Thursday - Running From the Rain,
Thursday - The Other Side of the Crash/Over and Out (Of Control),
Ash - Angel Interceptor
Jimmy Eat World, Thursday, Thrice, The Futureheads, And You Will Know Us By The Trail Of Dead, Nine Inch Nails, Ash, The Dismemberment Plan, The Get Up Kids, The Blood Brothers
A Prayer For Owen Meany - John Irving
The Timewaster Letters
The End of Evangelion