Snobby Sundays Slamalanche! (Part 2)

Gonna start this article off with a bit of housekeeping – I’d like to announce that over the next month, I’m going to be posting three articles a week! My hope is MWF, but let’s be real, I’m not the best at keeping to a strict schedule. Hell, if I manage to do this, it will be literally the first time I’ve stuck to an announced schedule in my 7+ year “career”. So that will be fun. And I was supposed to start this on Monday, since that was exactly a month before LeakyCon, but I forgot and started it yesterday. So that’s a good sign. Anywho, final half of my old Snobby Sundays with added semi-relevant commentary, goooooooo!

Essence of Dittany

Firstly, I’m really proud of coming up with Alaska being America’s ponytail – that’s a solid goof. Now, I’d like to ramble about instrumental music. As is evidenced by the abundance of links in the middle of this article, I very much like Homestuck music. Now, Homestuck is a good, even great webcomic, but what got me to love it, to make me part of its fandom, was the music. I absolutely adore the music of Homestuck, where each character has a theme, and the amount of official music ranks in the dozens of hours, and that’s before we even get to the fan music. The vast bulk of this music is purely instrumental, but each track can still tell a whole story. It was because of this burgeoning love of Homestuck music that I came to reconsider something I had been struggling with – can instrumental music still be wizard rock? Long time readers know that I had a fairly hardline view on what did or didn’t count as wizard rock – something had to be explicitly about Harry Potter for me to classify it as such. I even publicly speculated as to whether Diagon Alley “counted” as wizard rock, since those instrumental tracks were just melodies! Those don’t mean anything explicit! Needless to say, I have long since left that feeling behind, and I actually wish there was a lot more instrumental music in wrock, like Essence of Dittany and Diagon Alley. Especially more stuff with a symphonic and/or chiptune inspired feel.

Fawkes

There really, really was never enough good wizard rap, and that really surprised me. One of the most appealing things about wrock was the low barrier to entry – you just needed a nerdy passion and a microphone. Because of this, a large amount of those 700 wizard rock bands amounted to a teenager alone in their bedroom with a shitty acoustic and bandcamp – it’s a low barrier to entry. This is why the filk community exploded early on – if you could write decent lyrics, there was probably a midi out there for you to use. Despite what I said just above, writing will still always be at the center of wizard rock, and musical styles that allowed people to focus on writing, and take various shortcuts with the music, were quite popular. So why was there so little rap? All you need to rap is a beat, a steady command of language, and a bare modicum of rhythm. Sure it might not be the best rap, but wizard rock was always more about expressing ideas than polish. To be honest, I don’t really know why there wasn’t really that much. Part of it is probably demographics – wizard rock is a very white scene, and moreover, look at what was popular. There were some really really talented rappers in wrock, but they never got the same spotlight as Generic Two-Thousand And Seven Pop Songs and indie rock. And those two genres, or at least attempts at those two genres, fill out many of those 700 bands. For whatever reason, the scene just wasn’t into it, so it didn’t happen. Fans didn’t want to hear it, so they didn’t make it.

Lord of the Strings

I have no idea why I decided to do this article as if I was a robot. I also really liked how Lord of the Strings did a bunch of different musical styles – I always appreciate that kind of exuberant experimentation. Ayup. It’s weird, but even though I like LotS, I just never seem to have too much to say about them. Moving on.

Bella’s Love

Man, Bella’s Love is good. I still love rocking out to “Aragog Tonight” just as much as I did a decade ago. There are a bunch of wizard rocker covers I would love to have happen, but there’s few I want more than a super competent cover of “Aragog Tonight” that excises the flaws in voicework and recording quality, and emphasizes the strengths (nearly everything else). But instead of talking about covers, I wanna talk about the Internet Archive. Honestly, I don’t have too much more to say that isn’t already said in the article, but I already did a super short response, so I have to make up for it somehow. So here’s a fun fact: my very first wizard rock album was a bootleg of Harry and the Potters playing at a Jewish Community Center somewhere in LA. I found it on the Internet Archive when I was 16 and had no access to funds on the internet and didn’t know how to pirate, so I scraped my wizard rock off of the internet barrel. Well, that was a boring story. Um… you know that cool rainbow banner at the top of the linked article? I did that. Cool. Okay, next.

Lumos + Nox

Man, I wish there had been more bands like Lumos + Nox. Not more bands comprised of a young couple – those bands are usually destined for a short life span. I talked about this in the article, but I really wish there were more fanfic bands. Draco and the Malfoys once wrote about “doing more stuff in the books”. And I appreciate sticking to canon, especially for established PoV bands – I really do. But imagine how great a self-contained Wrock Opera fanfic album about Draco running an ice cream shop would be. Maybe he takes over the abandoned Fortescue’s and finds out what happened to Florean. Maybe Russ does an album, or at least a song, about Colin Creeveys from all over the fanfic multiverse engaging in a battle royale – call it Creevey Crisis on Infinite Earths. Or maybe Tianna finally puts her mouth (singing) where her mouth (talking) is, and write a full-scale My Immortal musical. Hell, stuff doesn’t even need to be super non-canon – that what I loved about Lumos + Nox, it was just about the adventures of a random Ravenclaw and a random Slytherin just trying to live their lives while all this crazy shit is going on. More fun musical explorations of common magical folk trying to get bye during this time of great strife. Hell, there still haven’t been any real musical explorations of what happened at Hogwarts during the events of Deathly Hallows, you could get an entire band’s career’s worth of music out of that topic alone. Just saying, the well isn’t dry yet, and I’m pretty sure there’s a river flowing beneath it, if we just dig deep enough.

That was fun! Hope you all enjoyed this. Next time, I’m going to write what will either be the worst or greatest article of my career.

Wrock Snob out.

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