Draco and the Malfoys

Band: Draco and the Malfoys
Website: Official Website

I think this is one of the first times I have ever so much as considered writing “What can I possibly say about this band/group/individual member(s)?” where I felt like, after the fact, I was being entirely honest about it. Draco and the Malfoys are amazing. There is so much coursing through my mind about Brian and Bradley that I haven’t a clue where I can begin when writing about this band.

Should I begin with the absolutely hilarious lyrics? Or the (basically) Wrock Opera that is the Family EP with the EP of the Month Club, or perhaps the fact ( yes, I wrote fact) that Brian really has a Hufflepuff heart deep down under that Slytherin facade?

In a way, I would like to focus on the latter of the options. To begin with, beyond the amazingly fun music and the dynamic performances, Brian is one of the most fantastic huggers I have ever met. “But who are you to deem someone a particularly glorious hugger?” you may be asking yourself. To put it simply, I have a large number of individuals (close friends and near strangers) who I have deemed my “hug buddy” for a specific night or event. They can all vouch for me. As for Brian, he is one of the few people I would consider a rival, were there such a thing in the world of excellent hugs.

To expand beyond just the hugging specifically, I have observed in Bradley one of the most loving and caring husband and father I have had the good fortune of meeting. I know that sentence was absolute rubbish, but there it stands. I’m having trouble re-wording it in such a way as to express how wonderful he is. Bradley has dedicated his life first and foremost to his wife and family, no matter how much he loves his brother Brian, and no matter how much he loves his time spent as one of the most exciting and well-known Wizard Rock Stars in the musical movement. Who needs to be a Wrock star when you are always a star at home?

I think something about this that is most interesting to me is the counter-point to my write-up on Swish and Flick the other day. In that write-up, I discussed how, while I am a Hufflepuff in almost every way, it can be nice to recognize the Slytherin side of my life and to embrace it when I need to. I find that Draco and the Malfoys represent the opposing side of the argument for Interhouse Solidarity: the Slytherins who can and will allow their own Hufflepuff tendencies to take over from time to time.

I actually would like to leave this rather open-ended at the moment and open the topic up for discussion here in the comments. I love the idea of Interhouse Solidarity (I’ll go ahead and post a playlist I created for a CD I handed out at a Harry Potter Party I threw with a friend a week following the release of Deathly Hallows at some point), but more than just the idea as I see it in my mind, I love to hear the thoughts of others on the same topic.

18 November 2009. Tags: . Band of the Day. 8 comments.

Professor Hooknose and his Greasy Gits

Band: Professor Hooknose and his Greasy Gits
Website: Myspace

One of my absolute favorite things about being at Wrockstock is spending time in the Wampum Willow, the second stage area for smaller bands to perform between the bigger sets on the main stage. Very rarely do I get the opportunity to get to know some of the lesser-known bands in Wizard Rock so well. At this most recent event, one of the bands I had the opportunity of meeting was Professor Hooknose and his Greasy Gits, a rather recent addition to the world of Wizard Rock, having gotten started just over a year ago.

In the time that Cory and John have been writing and recording Wizard Rock, they’ve gotten a decent number of songs posted to their Myspace, have played at a major Wrock event, and are quite clearly just having an absolutely amazing and fun time with their music and the scene in general!

Cory and John impressed me greatly with their immense amount of energy at Wrockstock. This applies not only to their performance in the Wampum Willow, but to every time I saw them around the event – especially when other bands were playing and it was the type of music you found yourself dancing to. The dancing, in particular was primarily John. The first time I noticed his sheer joy and lack of concern for what others thought was during the Professor Hooknose set. During some of their songs, if there was a small break between lyrics, John would proclaim it time for a “Dance break!” and would just go crazy. Crazy-good. Not crazy-bad. In fact, at one point (between breaths from my laughter) I leaned over to a friend and said, “You know the funny thing is… he has all the same dance moves as I do!” So whether that means we’re both excellent dancers, or we could both be mistaken for epileptics on the dance floor is yet to be discerned.

Beyond the wild dance moves, the Professor Hooknose crew (is it okay to call them a crew if it’s just two of them?) impressed me with their music as well. I particularly was a fan of the song ‘Double Agent’, which was written with the intention of not spoiling listeners. Chris explained how, when writing the song, he wanted to make it clear that Severus was a Double Agent, but the listener wouldn’t necessarily be able to determine who he was a Double Agent for based on the song alone.

In general, however, I just enjoyed the music that Chris and John played for us. And as one final note, they actually brought a sheet of rice krispy treats that were frosted like a cake with the title of their upcoming EP, Awwww, Snape written across it in frosting. How freaking awesome is that? My only regret regarding Professor Hooknose is the fact that I got so busy with other stuff that I ended up forgetting to grab a rice krispy treat.

17 November 2009. Tags: . Band of the Day. 8 comments.

Oliver Boyd and the Remembralls

Band: Oliver Boyd and the Remembralls
Website: Myspace

Christian Caldeira, who is Oliver Boyd and the Remembralls, is a very intriguing member of the Wizard Rock Community. In a conversation I had with him at Wrockstock, he informed me that his initial discovery of Wizard Rock wasn’t as exciting for him as it was for me (I recall shock, amazement, joy, and jumping about in my own personal discovery story). He soon came to realize what the Community was and what it meant and proceeded to write music at that point.

Though I’m sure there are plenty of Wizard Rockers and Wizard Rock fans alike who first came upon Wizard Rock in a similar fashion – so what is it about Christian that makes this so interesting to me? Four words: ‘End of an Era’.

There is a style within Wizard Rock known as meta-wizard rock or meta-wrock. Essentially, the content of meta-wrock songs is no longer directly about Harry Potter and his cohorts specifically, but about the effect the characters, the stories, and the music have had on us as people in the real world. There are any number of meta-wrock songs out there now, but when Christian wrote ‘End of an Era’, it wasn’t as big of a craze… yet.

This song was written in anticipation of the release of the final Harry Potter book. For well over a year, it felt like all fans of the books and the music were taking this song, listening to it time and again, and sharing it with every other HP fan of their acquaintance. Unless that was just me… because boy was I in that camp! I knew that the final book release would cause some of the people I had been talking to about the books and discussing Wizard Rock with to suddenly drop off the face of my Earth. They would still exist, but no longer would they be in the chats, forums, and around Myspace on band pages.

I can’t begin to count the number of times I have been moved to tears by listening to any of the versions of this song out there. I have heard the original version, the acoustic version, the Marked As His Equal version, the Roonil Wazlib version, the acoustic instrumental version, and now the rocked out version that Christian prepared for and performed at Wrockstock ’09.

At this point, it has become one of the first songs I turn to when I am feeling the Harry Potter nostalgia, the Wizard Rock longing, and the direct need to spend time with the many amazing people around the world that I have met through this fandom.

‘So I will miss the train ride in / And the pranks pulled by the Twins / Though it’s nowhere I have been / I’ll keep on smiling from the times I had with them’

16 November 2009. Tags: , , . Band of the Day. 6 comments.

Justin Finch-Fletchley and the Sugar Quills

Band: Justin Finch-Fletchley and the Sugar Quills
Website: Myspace

I bought my first Justin Finch-Fletchley (JFF) CD about a year before I first saw him perform live. I had ordered it at the same time as a whole slew of other Wizard Rock albums, so I listened to it and didn’t give it terribly much thought after that, to be perfectly honest. This isn’t to say I just ignored the album from that point on, but when I was in the mood for some rockin’, I would only occasionally pull out the JFF as opposed to some other band.

So when one year passed and I was at Wrockstock ’08, ready to truly wrock out for the first time, I was sort of standing at the edges of the crowd when Justin took the stage (as opposed to front and center as I was with other bands). As Diagon Alley was for so many people at Wrockstock ’09, JFF was the big “surprise, I fucking ROCK!” performance of the weekend for me that year.

A few weeks before Wrockstock ’08, I had had the opportunity to attend a Whomp the House Tour show featuring JFF and the Whomping Willows, but passed on the opportunity thinking it was sad, but not something I would overly regret. About halfway through Justin’s set, I learned I was dead wrong in that assumption. By that point, I had worked my way into the heart of the crowd and was wrocking at least as hard as anyone within a mile radius.

So what is it that makes Justin Finch-Fletchley and the Sugar Quills such a special and amazing band? It’s all in the energy they put into their performance, the sheer joy Justin has playing and singing his lyrics. While I originally enjoyed the music but wasn’t drawn to listen to it regularly, after seeing a live performance, I see it again in my mind when I listen to his music now, whether or not I’ve seen the song live.

I don’t want to give the impression that I only enjoy JFF when live or that I’ve only liked his music since I saw my first live JFF set. This is by no means the case, but my Justin experience was enhanced so thoroughly by the live performance that I felt the overwhelming desire to share that with all of you.

15 November 2009. Tags: . Band of the Day. 6 comments.

Swish and Flick Discography

Band: Swish and Flick
Members: Stacy and John Pisani
Website: Official Site | Facebook | Myspace
Twitter: @swishandflick

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14 November 2009. Tags: , . Extras. Leave a comment.

Swish and Flick

Band: Swish and Flick
Website: Official Site | Myspace

I would like to start this off with a simple fact: I am a hardcore Hufflepuff. I have the photos and the stories (with people to vouch for me) to prove it. Yet this doesn’t stop me from singing along with ‘S-L-Y in Slytherin’, proudly proclaiming myself to be “the S-L-Y / the SLY in House of Slytherin / the H-O-T / the HOT in House of Slytherin / the S-I-N / the SIN in House of Slytherin / the S-L-U-T / the SLUT in House of Slytherin.” So… what? Should my Hufflepuff Prefect badge be rescinded for this?

Hell no!

The above proclamation is actually a piece of lyrics from the title song off Swish and Flick’s album, In the House of Slytherin. To say the least, Stacy and John inspire a loyal following of all their listeners, regardless of House allegiances. It must be true if I regularly wrock out to and sing along with the song ‘Pure-Blood’, which makes comments about “Mudblood bitches” and making House Elves sleep in kitchens.

For those who are new to the band, Swish and Flick is among the ranks of hip-hop / rap artists in the Wizard Rock world. It’s true, this genre is not overly represented, but Swish and Flick definitely hold their own among them. In fact, for many years, I would just avoid listening to any hip-hop or rap music if I could help it. Even for a while after getting into the Wizard Rock scene, I didn’t pay much mind to the bands that fit into that category. This isn’t to say I didn’t love such songs as ‘House Elf 4 Life’ by MC Kreacher or other similar “singles”, but I didn’t exactly go out of my way to track down more of the style.

That changed quite suddenly with Swish and Flick. I was just starting to appreciate the style when I was told to listen to ‘S-L-Y in Slytherin’. I was skeptical, but willing to give it a whirl, being the Hufflepuff that I am. Boy am I glad I went for it! I have always said that everyone has a little Slytherin in them, not least of all me. The way I see it, Swish and Flick helps bring that side of me out in the most positive way possible.

I know that sounded like one big oxymoron, but hear me out. Slytherins get a bad rap because of the whole Death Eater thing with the Dark Lord and the Muggle attacks. But not all Slytherins are like that. Even I know that. Swish and Flick reminds me that everyone needs to have some amount of ambition, that sometimes we can’t just play to the whims of everyone around us. As a Hufflepuff, I like to keep people around me happy, but sometimes I need to look out for myself as well. I can’t let people take advantage of my eagerness to please all the time.

So thanks, Stacy and John, for making the music that gets me dancing and singing along, brings me joy, and reminds me that the Slytherin in me isn’t all bad.

14 November 2009. Tags: . Band of the Day. 11 comments.

Some Mudbloods Footage

Both of the following videos were filmed at Portus in 2008 and are to be found on the Wizrocklopedia YouTube channel.

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13 November 2009. Tags: , . Extras, Videos. Leave a comment.

The Mudbloods Discography

Band: The Mudbloods
Website: Myspace | Last.fm
Twitter: @ahdubbie (Adam Dubberly)

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13 November 2009. Tags: , . Extras. Leave a comment.

The Mudbloods

Band: The Mudbloods
Website: Myspace

Originally, the Mudbloods were scheduled for an earlier day. However, every single time I sat down to write about this band, I couldn’t find the words to say what I wanted to. In fact, I would go so far as to say that I still haven’t found the words to describe them, but I am going to carry on despite.

The Mudbloods is one of my favorite bands. If I need to calm my nerves, cheer myself up, or just allow myself a generally enjoyable time, the Mudbloods are not long to follow.

For those who are unaware, the Mudbloods played their final performance this past weekend at Wrockstock. I had seen them play twice prior to this experience and was enthralled each time. Despite that, nothing could have prepared me for this. Knowing it would be the last time he performed these songs was probably the most difficult part of it all. I know I wasn’t the only one tearing up, even during songs like ‘It’s Dragons! It’s Mermaids!! It’s a Maze!!!’ Or maybe I was the only poor sap hardly able to sing along to some of the peppier songs.

One moment that I am proud of, however, was my restraint during ‘A Pensieve Full of Unrequited Love’, telling the story of Severus Snape’s love for Lily over the years and by far my favorite Mudbloods song. Of course, the only reason I made it through the song without breaking down entirely is because I was focusing as hard as I could on holding the camera steady so I could record the song in full. It didn’t stop me from silently singing along to every single word, though.

The silly thing about ‘A Pensieve Full of Unrequited Love’ is the fact that it is probably the most peppy sad song I’ve ever listened to and adored. The regret and longing in the lyrics are contra to the jaunty musical style, especially as Severus describes his dying moments with “blood rushing out of my head” as he gives his memories of Lily and his own history to Harry that he will finally understand. The moment is heartbreaking, but I can’t help but bob my head along as the music progresses.

Another song that simply brings me unending joy is ‘Zombies!’ In this song, Adam, the lead singer for the Mudbloods, explains that he was never really that scared of Voldemort until he came to the end of Book 6 (Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince) and Harry encountered the Inferi. These creatures are reanimated dead used by Voldemort to protect one of his Horcruxes, but are essentially zombies. To say the least, they are quite terrifying.

Of all the bands I have used to try and bring Muggles (non-Wizard Rock fans) into the ways of Wrock, the Mudbloods have met with likely the highest success rate. It is one of my greatest pleasures in life to have a Muggle inform me that they enjoy a mellow, mildly folky or pop-like style of music. That’s when I know I can play some Mudbloods for them and that the conversion is only a matter of time from then.

It is a terrible sad thing that the Mudbloods have played their final show and produced the last of their music. But they gave us some amazing years before the end came.

R.I.P. Mudbloods
2005-2009

13 November 2009. Tags: . Band of the Day. 15 comments.

An Interview with Diagon Alley

Band: Diagon Alley
Website: Myspace | Facebook
Twitter: @diagonalleyband

In preparation for the Daily Wrocket, I started out by sending a set of interview questions to as many Wizard Rock bands as I could. Below are the responses I received from Diagon Alley.

Warning: Occasional expletives are used by the band members. All appearances of censoring were copied and pasted directly from their responses.

General Questions

How long have you been playing music?

  • Nigel: Three lifetimes, or 4,208,327 beers
  • Danno: Music?
  • Jaymo: Uh…
  • Cuki: Since I’ve been little.
  • Chris: Shit, I don’t remember

What inspired you to play in the first place?

  • Nigel: A girl
  • Danno: I needed a reason to stay in my band after they didn’t need keys anymore.
  • Jaymo: Uh…
  • Cuki: Technically, my parents
  • Chris: They made me.

What inspired you to play Wizard Rock music?
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12 November 2009. Tags: , . Extras. 6 comments.

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