The Top 5 Meta-Wrock Songs of 2010

Hey, look, it’s a Snobmas article that actually makes sense and is actually about wizard rock! I’ll try to keep the previous two types of articles to a minimum, okay, dudes?  But I’ve never been good with a deadline, so…  In any case, here’s a list of what for my money are the best meta-wrock songs of 2010.  But this is in no way an exhaustively researched or definitive list – more what comes to my mind, in the hope that others will remind me in the comments of great songs from this year that I forgot.

5. “The Wrock Wrap” – Undesirable #1

Despite using the word “wrap”, which I despise, “The Wrock Wrap” is a damn good song, the second best on the album, Wizards With Swagger.  I’m a bit of a sucker for lists, so I almost always love it when a wizard rock song condenses all the books in order, or lists a bunch of wizard rock bands, or whatever.  What I really like about this song is not just the fact that it lists a bunch of wizard rock bands (twelve), but that it expands on each one, says why they’re awesome, and also usually works in a song title or two.  Even better, it’s not just the usual big bands that are listed, like Harry and the Potter, Ministry of Magic, Whomping Willows, etc., but also bands like The Blibbering Humdingers, I Speak Tree, and Bella and Le Strangers.  Also, it’s got a really sweet chorus:

The little big book that brought us together

We’ll never be stopped except by wintry weather

We all flock like birds of a feather

The friends I’ve met here are my dearest treasure

Though, since I am contractually obligated to make at least one needlessly nitpicky remark, might as well get it out of the way now – rhyming “cheers” with “cheer”? Really?  You can do some much better than that.  What about “For Harry and the Potters, we raise our butterbeers”, or “At Harry and the Potters the fangirls leer”, or “Harry and the Potters live in the capital of Zaire”, or “Harry and the Potters taught me about the elasticity of shear”?  I think you should go with that last one from now on out.  Fo defs.

4. “Fall In Love Tonight” – The Whomping Willows

When you look at it on paper, being a male in the wizard rock community sounds great – a community full of like-minded nerds of the opposite gender, all underscored by some sweet music? Great!  I wouldn’t be surprised if this was the initial reaction of dudes entering the community. However, Whompy appears to believe that there are too many single dudes in the wiz-rock community, and thus, he made this song.  What I find really interesting about it is that it’s one of the few meta-wrock songs that does address the gender disparity issue, if not in a real Bill Moyers, probing manner.  It’s such a large part of our community’s demographic makeup, that I’m surprised it doesn’t come up more often in song form.  Also, it’s just a really fun electric song from the first part of Wizard Party Forever!!!, before all the electric guitar got annoying.  There’s a really fun guitar solo about halfway through, Lauren’s voice is a subtle but very effective addition to the chori, and the line “If Harry can defeat the Dark Lord / I think you can approach a girl” not only is musically AWESOME, with Lauren’s “oooooooh”s in the background, but is probably going to go down in wizard rock history as “one of those lines” – a line that most if not all people in the wizard rock community love, and make as their Facebook quotes and stuff / a line that I parody in one of my insipid polls.

3. “I Want a New Song for Christmas” – The Whomping Willows

This is not the first time, nor will it be the last time that Matt will appear on this list (spoiler alert!).  Now, I’ve already reviewed this song, but because it’s sort of tricky to link to a specific place in a wordpress article, I’m just going to enact in some copypasta.

Wait, you’re saying that it’s a strong, rocking acoustic Whomping Willows song that pokes fun at his musical career and how meta he’s gotten, and the entire idea of meta-wrock in the first place, while still plausibly staying in character as magical tree that sometimes somehow plays shows at Hogwarts and makes no explicit mention about anything muggle except for Jingle Spells, which is published by a magical pub, so it’s okay?

Seriously, though, while I have sort of gotten tired of clever-meta songs, and have been more in the mood for meta songs along the lines of Roonil Wazlib’s amazing “Not The End” or the next two songs, I absolutely love this song, and how Matt managed to write a song that was meta as hell but still stayed in character for a strangely musical magical tree.

2. “My Parents Are Muggles (Demo)” – Seen and Unforeseen

So, remember how Seen and Unforeseen’s Jingle Spells 4 song, “Voldemort’s Secret Santa” was awesome, and everyone loved it?  Well, I realized a couple days later that despite all my talk at the end of the article about supporting these smaller yet awesome bands I hadn’t actually visited her MySpace page and listened to her other music.  So, I went searching for her other music and went on a magical journey of self-discovery.  And by that I mean that after a couple minutes of fruitless searching, I stumbled upon her last.fm page, which informed me that all of her music was either on her bandcamp, or on Jingle Spells 4.  So, I go to her bandcamp, and there’s only one song on there, which means that “Voldemort’s Secret Santa”, one of if not the best song on JS4, and the definite winner of the “Out Of Left Field” award, was only her second song ever released.  Wow.  More, please!

Anyway, while it’s not quite as good as “Voldemort’s Secret Santa”, “My Parents Are Muggles (Demo)” is very, very good.  It actually starts out a bit strangely, copying the guitar riff wholesale from “House of Awesome Theme Song”, making me think it’d be some sort of weird parody, but once Seen and Unforeseen’s great voice came in singing a completely different melody, all of that was forgotten.  The sub-sub-subgenre of meta-wrock songs that is about wishing one were a wizard is not a new one, and is a rather popular topic for meta-wrock songs (“I Wanna Be A Wizard” – Danny Dementor, “Dumbledore” – The Struggle Of A Muggle, “I’ll Be At Hogwarts” – The Remus Lupins, “Eff This, I’m Going To Hogwarts” – Lauren Fairweather), but it’s not one that’s really been explored much this year.  I’ve gotta say I love these songs – there’s just something about the heady mixture of both hope and melancholy that really speaks to me.

So, two paragraphs in, and I’ve barely even talked about the actual song.  As usual.  It’s actually rather hard to define what I love about this song – the lyrics aren’t anything particularly out of the norm for “I wish I were a wizard” songs, but something about the real sincerity that you can here in the singer’s voice really gets to me.  But even more than that, while this road has been trodden before, lyrically speaking, I don’t know if it’s ever been done this well.  I mean, how many people in this community do the following lyrics describe?

My parents are muggles
And that is alright with me.
But I am a wizard
And that is all I want to be.

Also, the portion between the second and third round of chori is too beautiful to be spoiled here.  Seriously, check this song out.  Musically, it’s what you would expect after listening to her JS4 song, but not as dark and claustrophobic, for obvious reasons – it’s on the whole a more light and upbeat song, though there is a definite sense of wistfulness running through the whole thing.  The only problem I could really see anyone having with this song is that the production quality is noticeably a bit low at the end of the song, though that’s of course not really her fault.  So, CAN SOMEONE PLEASE GET THIS GIRL SOME COMPETENT RECORDING EQUIPMENT? AMAZING THINGS COULD BE DONE, I TELL YOU, AMAZING THINGS.  Well, more amazing than have already been done, at least.

And now, the number one meta-wrock song of 2010:

1. “When The Lights Go Out” – The Whomping Willows

Christ, it’s this fucker again!  So, it’s no big secret that Matt does a lot of meta-wrock, so it’s no surprise that he’s on this list a lot.  However, this isn’t just another meta-wrock song by The Whomping Willows, it very well could be the best meta-wrock song by The Whomping Willows.  You see, my biggest problem with the meta-wrock in Demons at the Helm was not that it was meta-wrock (I love me some meta-wrock – see above), but that it was so personal.  See, I don’t mind personal music, and I did eventually conclude that Demons was, when looked at as a whole album, wizard rock, but one of the reasons why it was harder for me to connect to the lyrics is because the lyrics didn’t connect to me.  I don’t know what it’s like to drive from city to city for months at a time, and while songs about that can give me a glimpse into what it’s like, a whole album about it just won’t “work” for me – hence why songs like “Walk” and “A Conversation With My Demons” were among my favorites on the album, because even though they individually had almost nothing to do with wrock, they did deal with issues and emotions that everyone has.

All of this mindless drivel is basically to say that “When The Lights Go Out” is the perfect sort of wizard rock song because it establishes a connection so well, and I think it establishes that connection with so many people that listen to it.  And the great thing is, it’s still a rather personal song about Matt Maggiacomo, but every wizard rock fan can see a bit of themselves in it, which I don’t think the same could be said about Demons (with the possible [and if so, rather unfortunate] exception of “Merch Girls”?).  Another thing that is touching about this song lyrically is that it does have to do with something that has been weighing on mind increasingly as of late – the end of wizard rock.  Yes, this song asserts that the fandom “will never end”, but by the very mentioning of the possibility of an end, you admit that, well, there is a possibility (or even certainty) of an eventual end.  But despite this, the song is self-assuredly hopeful, and is also tinged with themes of “even when we stop making music we won’t stop being friends”.  This song says more about wizard rock in four minutes and thirteen seconds than Demons ever did in its 37 minutes.

But what makes “Lights” such a great song is not just the lyrics, but how well the lyrics fit with the music, and even the title.  You see, the entirety of Wizard Party Forever!!!, up until this song (the last on the album) is electric, to the point that it got a bit annoying for me – there are some songs that would have worked a lot better if they had been acoustic, or more Demons-y or even electronic or something.  But all of that “all electric, all the time” is almost worth it for the breathtaking musical release that this song is.  Going from electric to the very simple acoustic guitar and a single voice is such a great aural dimming of the lights, as it were, and it works so well with the subject matter.  It really feels like a song Matt would ever-so quietly strum and sing whilst watching his friend sleep and this sentence did not sound nearly as creepy in my head but whatever.

AND THEN THE OTHER VOICES COME IN.  And it goes from pretty to straight up beautiful.  Often times, the entire last half of a song being one line repeated over and over can annoy me, but the surprising complexity of the vocal work more than sustains the final minute and a half, and to top it all off, there’s a bizarrely hilarious ending (that for some reason works all the same) that I won’t spoil for anyone who hasn’t listened to the album yet.  It all comes together to make a beautiful and poignant statement about wizard rocker, and I suspect will end up being like “Not The End” – one of those songs that I don’t listen to a ton, because they are party funtime songs, but I keep coming back to, nevertheless.

Well, I can’t say if this article made any sense, but at the very least it had no Pokémon, right?  Lastly, I’d like to thank Brad Ausrotas and Sam Harris for (unintentionally) helping me compile this list.  Wrock Snob out.

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18 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Sam Harris
    Dec 05, 2010 @ 15:51:36

    I think this list pretty clearly talks about all of the best meta-wrock from 2010, and I agree with all of it, seeing as we just had this discussion on twitter 😛
    I’ll try to see if I can find other meta songs that I like as much, if not more, than some of the songs on the list, but I do not know how much luck I will have.

    Reply

  2. Whompy
    Dec 05, 2010 @ 16:27:52

    I’ve been extremely curious about your thoughts on WPF for a few months now, so it’s really nice to get a glimpse into your feelings as I respect your opinions greatly.

    That said, I don’t ever plan on responding to your commentary the way I did with your Demons review. That remains an embarrassing moment for me.

    I will say that you hit the nail on the head with your comments on When The Lights Go Out, and that you summed up the song’s purpose better than I ever could. In short: Demons was written for me (and maybe Lauren); Wizard Party Forever!!! was written for the fans, all the way. 🙂

    Reply

    • wrocksnob
      Dec 05, 2010 @ 16:54:09

      Yeah, I’ve been planning to write the WPF article for awhile, but I was lazy, and then I wasn’t lazy but Wrockstock happened, and now I’m just trying to keep on top of everything. But there will be a WPF article… eventually.

      Reply

  3. Trackback: Tweets that mention The Top 5 Meta-Wrock Songs of 2010 « The Wrock Snob -- Topsy.com
  4. Brad Ausrotas
    Dec 05, 2010 @ 16:32:51

    2010 has been a very strong year for meta rock. I haven’t enjoyed this many meta songs since 2007 :]

    Reply

    • wrocksnob
      Dec 05, 2010 @ 16:52:18

      You know, I was thinking it was a rather weak year for meta-wrock, but you’re right – there haven’t been a ton of them, but they’ve been more weighted towards the “good/awesome” side of things. I mean, there’s been great meta-wrock songs other years, obviously, but I think you may be right in there being a higher density of them being good.

      Reply

  5. Daisy
    Dec 05, 2010 @ 18:55:21

    I really agree with most of this article–it’s good to hear appreciation of meta-wrock, too. I especially like the review of “When the Lights Go Out”–it’s such a beautiful song, and I totally understood the whole “It really feels like a song Matt would ever-so quietly strum and sing whilst watching his friend sleep ” thing. I didn’t really find it creepy until you mentioned it was creepy. XD

    Reply

  6. Richard
    Dec 06, 2010 @ 13:47:31

    Whoa. Really kind of honored to be on this list. There’s been a really solid chunk of good meta wrock and to be considered in the top 5 makes me happier than happier than I can say. Anyone who makes wizard rock can tell you that the biggest thrill and reward is the listener feedback. At least it is for me. Nothing better than for people to enjoy the songs that I’ve poured a lot of effort into.

    As for the rhyme, as I was recording, I was sorely tempted to change the line to “When the weapon comes on, they’re the reason we all tear” but I didn’t. I perform it live that way sometimes. Way to remind me of my song writing mistakes 😉

    Reply

  7. wrocknquidditch
    Dec 06, 2010 @ 22:26:29

    This is a very good list. Very very good. I’d have a hard time narrowing to 5, though… my “best 2010 metawrock” list would be at least twice as long. But I’m indecisive as well, lol.

    Reply

  8. Arodhwen
    Dec 09, 2010 @ 22:39:48

    Meta-wrock? Psh. I don’t listen to all of those songs that put on the pretense of being muggles who pretend to be wizards. That’s just silly.

    Nice list. I really need to check out S&U.

    Reply

  9. The Wrock Snob Resistance
    Dec 12, 2010 @ 13:35:57

    Dear Sir/Madam/Miss/Creature/Whatever-You-Are-Behind-That-Veil-of-Anonymity,

    We are appalled that your list doesn’t include our groundbreaking work of art, “Wrock Snob The Opera”. Yes, it includes some argumentation that isn’t in your favor, but it’s about YOU, for god’s sake. It’s the only metawizardrockthingy ever composed that involves you. And we know that you love you.

    Correct this situation at once.

    Forever in your resistance, thou self-absorbed piece of you-know-what,

    The Wrock Snob Resistance

    Reply

    • wrocksnob
      Dec 12, 2010 @ 14:54:36

      Well, I thought it was obvious that “Wrock Snob The Opera” was the greatest meta-wrock song ever, and it didn’t even need to be listed. Like how you don’t mention Jesus when you list the best musicians ever – you don’t need too.

      Reply

      • The Wrock Snob Resistance
        Dec 12, 2010 @ 17:52:03

        We normally would not say that we agree with you, because we have sworn to The Deep Oath of The WS Resistance, which is to oppose everything you say. Exception is made, however, when you admit our awesomeness which transcends the limitations of the mortal and…

        …you really thought that by comparing us to God you would make us forget that you have not once mentioned the most fundamental piece of the wizard rock culture on your website? You’re pathetic.

        Being the best metawrock in existence, “Wrock Snob The Opera” is the clear winner of the metawrock category in the next WRPCA’s. You must make sure that this happens, at any cost. If you resist… well, don’t. As someone with zero humility and an afwul lot of power once said, resistance is futile, indeed (unless it’s us doing it).

        Forever in your resistance, because you owe us so much, including our happiness,

        The Wrock Snob Resistance

        Reply

  10. Syrup Tits
    Jan 06, 2011 @ 17:07:49

    Dude, I listen to My Parents Are Muggles ALL. THE. TIME. Seriously, I can’t wait for more music from Eva.

    Reply

  11. Eva
    Feb 25, 2011 @ 07:50:55

    Wow, am I slow or WHAT?
    Thank you for the incredible write-up, Mr. Snob! I am honored to be number two within a list of such talented people… Especially the great Whomping Willow! I also think that it is funny that you thought I “copied” the House of Awesome Theme Song’s chords because I hadn’t actually heard that song until fairly recently. A am flattered to have my song compared with that song in ANY way because Matt is fantastic. (IS NOT WORTHY, IS NOT WORTHY!) As far as song production goes, I am currently bumming off of a friend who has some pretty epic recording equipment and I should be able to get a few songs out there… Actually this has given me motivation because I feel like no one really wants to hear my music! Haha! But I DO have more music, I promise! I am just very picky about what I put on the internet because I am self-conscious and shy about my tunes. I’m also working on a song with Gred and Forge.
    What a long response! I must evaporate now!
    Much love and appreciation!
    -Eva

    Reply

  12. magicmeshoffer.com
    Dec 24, 2012 @ 14:47:19

    My brother recommended I would possibly like this website.

    He used to be totally right. This put up actually made my day.
    You can not believe just how a lot time I had spent for this information!
    Thank you!

    Reply

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