I've been looking for an excuse to write about Wizard Rock from the moment I first heard of it, and—after some long delays—it looks like my chance has finally arrived. Sure, wizards may be on the wane ever since vampires took popular culture by storm, but with this Wednesday's release of Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, the wand-wavers certainly are taking charge of the spotlight for now.
Backing up a bit: Wizard Rock?
Yes, Wizard Rock. Just as Led Zeppelin is rumored to have been influenced by the Lord of the Rings trilogy, a younger generation of musicians has found their muses in the Harry Potter series. Thus, a geeky genre full of Potter-reference-laden songs was born.
According to the "History of Wizard Rock," published on the genre's leading authority, the Wizrocklopedia, the idea to write songs about Hogwarts and its environs was popularized by Harry and the Potters, a duo made up of brothers from Boston, but our area has not been immune to the trend. Here are some of our local and nearby Wizard Rock outfits:
The Fizzing Whizbees
Hails from: Tarrytown
Sample song titles: "No One Likes Hufflepuff," "The Marauder's Map"
Sounds like: Lo-fi; spare guitar and strings
Fred and George the Band
Hails from: Mount Kisco
Sample song title: "Weasley's Wiz Wheezes"
Sounds like: Folky, acoustic guitar music
Luna Lovegood Band
Hails from: Dutchess County
Sample song titles: "Neville Neville Never," "I Want a Weasley Sweater"
Sounds like: Sarah McLaughlin-style girl-and-piano
Hails from: Chappaqua
Sample song titles: "Boy From Spinner's End," "Ravenclaw Seeker"
Sounds like: Also acoustic, but a little harder-hitting
Hails from: Latham, NY
Sample song titles: "Centaur Rock," "Harry Potter Will Perish"
Sounds like: Some kids just fooling around
The Wizrocklopedia is worth checking out for the hilarious Potter-themed band names alone. (My current fave: MC Kreacher.) If you're into it, you can keep up to date by following the site's Twitter feed.
Photo by Jaap Buitendijk, courtesy of Warner Bros. Pictures