7 Panels I Should Have Submitted For LeakyCon 2016

I waited for months for the opportunity to submit panel proposals for presentation at this year’s LeakyCon. And then when it finally came… I blanked. I knew I wanted to do a Wizard Rock-focused panel, and if no one had organized it yet, I wanted there to be a genderqueer meetup panel. Besides a hastily thought of My Immortal panel (and I am so pumped that Tianna is doing a panel on both My Immortal and Beowulf), I just couldn’t summon up any more ideas. I guessed I just didn’t have that much to say, or that I actually didn’t have that many opinions. It is at this point that you should be laughing.

Within days, maybe even hours of the deadline passing, a great panel idea came to me. Then another. And another. Some of these, I suddenly remembered, were panels I’d wanted to do ever since my very first LeakyCon and being sad these subjects weren’t represented. So here’s a list in no particular order of 7 panels I have belatedly realized I should have submitted. I’m doing this partially in the hopes that it will make for enjoyable Content, and partially to get me closer to meeting this week’s article goal, but mostly so I’ll have this handy reference if the opportunity ever affords itself again.

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The 10 Best Short Harry and the Potters Songs

So, a [very very long {like really an incredibly long}] while back, Matt of The Whomping Willows was live-tweeting his thoughts on Jingle Spells 4, and he mentioned “that weird universe of < 1 minute @hatp songs”, and put “When Bellatrix Came Over For Christmas/What?!” in the top five.  So, I decided to go back through the shorter Harry and the Potters songs and see which ones are my favorites.  It is difficult to decide where to draw the line, time wise, because there is no discernible jump between any of HatP’s songs – they just steadily climb up from “Fluffy” and “Honeydukes” (17 seconds) to “Phoenix Song” (six minutes, twenty-four seconds).  So, I’m only slightly changing the criterion to equal to or less than one minute and one second, mostly because there’s a song of that length that I really want to highlight.  Also, I am only counting the recorded versions of the songs, not any live recordings, just because song lengths change when live, so it’d get confusing, and we’re trying to stay scientific about this, right?  Lastly, I have purchased, but not yet listened to Priori Incantatem – it’s on the pile, I swear.  Okay, that was an unnecessarily long intro – let’s jump in!

[I seem to have a lot of introductory paragraphs with no article to go with them. Ah, well. I think I still have that list floating somewhere around here. …No, I don’t, actually. Dammit. Okay, let’s just fucking do this thing. No, no wait I found it. Let’s still fucking do this thing.]

{And then I wrote an entire article and published it. Or I thought I did, but wordpress bugged out on me. This happened like 3-4 years ago. I was frustrated and did not return to it. While I might flesh the article out more, for now I’ll just stick to the list I still miraculously have on my computer, and just saw a few words about each song, making this more a true list than a listicle. Whateva.}

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The Top 3 Canon-Condensing Songs

What do I mean by canon-condensing?  I mean a song that condenses all of canon (or canon up till that point of the making of the song), or the titles, or some specific aspect of each book.  There are a few of these out there, and I’d like to take a moment to point out my three favorites.  [The preceding paragraph and a very short list just bulleting for future reference what the three songs are, are the only original components of this rather short list.  I’m just gonna quickly run through what I liked about them, and also do some lyric-dumping.]

All of that, including the stuff in brackets was written years ago at this point. And this whole article was leading up to giving the number one slot to someone I do not discuss any more. And doing a top 2 list is kinda lame, even more lame than a top 3 list. So instead, I’m just gonna say a couple things. The two songs left in the list are “Hogwarts Lullaby” by The Veelas and “Cliff Notes Harry Potter” by Alas Earwax! (also known somewhat confusingly as “Harry Potter Cliff Notes”) and here are some words so I don’t have to deal with ending a sentence with a parenthetical statement after a proper noun that ends with punctuation.

Both songs are very different – one being, well, a lullaby, and the other being a rap from that blessed time in history when a nerdy white boy doing a rap was almost novel. But they also both try to summarize a series comprised of thousands of pages in just a few scant minutes. And this is a cool trick I wish was tackled more. While Alas Earwax!’s song is very explicit in its goals, with the original demo version starting with Mr. Earwax announcing his intentions like Vanilla Ice, The Veelas are a little more subtle. “Hogwarts Lullaby” is styled as a simple bedtime song, but each verse is about beasties that will stay away – in order of book. Starting with trolls, and then basilisks and spiders, and so on. Instead of trying to cram millions of words of plot into a song (which was part of the comedic point of “Cliff Notes Harry Potter”), The Veelas focus on a single theme running throughout the series, and follow it from beginning to end.

While I would also welcome more facetious attempts at summarizing the whole series, I also would really like to see more songs tackle one specific facet of the magical world, and chart its evolution. The Harry Potter series is, if nothing else, a journey, and it’d be cool to see more songs reflect that.

Wrock Snob out.

The Top 7 Songs About Luna

Hey, remember when a long time ago I wrote an article about the top 7 Cedric songs? Well, I’ve decided to do a lot more of these, doing Top 7 lists of wizard rock songs categorized by subject – some may be about a character, or an event, or even a mode of transportation – everything is fair game. And today I want to take a look at seven of the best wizard rock songs about one of my favorite characters in the series: Luna Lovegood. I started writing this article literally years ago, and have just gone in and tidied things up. Getting close to finishing up the backlog!

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Top 5 Harry Potter Video Games

Hey there! So, this past week included my birthday, a momentous occasion that could have only be overshadowed by the most hilarious and consuming bit of schadenfreude I’ve seen in years. As I am trying to make tradition, I will mark the week with an article that is only tangentially related to wizard rock (if at all), because fuck you it’s my birthday. This year – a quick run down of my favorite Harry Potter video games. Now, I haven’t played every Harry Potter video game, but I’ve played the vast majority of them, even including that Quidditch game everyone seems to forget existed (it wasn’t bad, but nothing extremely memorable), so my words do carry some merit.

Okay, that was a lie – my words never carry anything at all, except maybe the slight stench of discomfort and shattered dreams.

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10 Articles I Will Write Before Hanging Up My Pants

Hey there! It’s been a little while. Here’s the 10 (ish) articles I plan to write before I hang up my wizard rock reviewer pants. That day is coming at some point, it’s definitely there in the future, and I’d like to be able to put a definitive cap on things here, instead of it just slowly petering out into non-existence, which is pretty much all this site has been doing for the past couple years.

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Why We Fight – The Mix

Here's 31 Reasons

Click Here To Listen!

A little over a month ago, the wizard rock community was rocked by revelations of egregious ill-doings by some of the most popular and respected members of the community, specifically adult men manipulating younger women, sometimes minors, into unhealthy, emotionally abusive, and even illegal relationships. The emotional reactions were and continue to be as varied as they are strong. Disgust. Betrayal. Grief. Anger. Guilt. Fear. And these are all completely normal and acceptable emotional reactions. But we cannot let our negative emotions rule us and hamper us from progress. We must remember not only that we should fight, but why we fight. To that end, I had originally planned to tweet a different song each day in April by a female wrocker that I really liked.

However, there were two major problems with this plan. Firstly, as long-time readers know, I really am very awful at keeping up with a daily or weekly schedule, ESPECIALLY on a medium like twitter where it’s hard to “bank” multiple entires for a rainy (i.e. LAZY) day. Secondly, and much more importantly, twitter really HAMPERS MY ABILITY TO DRONE ON UNECESSARILY. Well, it doesn’t actually hamper it as much as it should, but still. Then I stumbled upon the idea of creating a list of 31 songs – a month’s worth, and posting them all at one go on the First of May. But not a mere list, no – A MIX! Using the intriguing 8tracks website, I uploaded my mix, and added the usual verbiage in the annotations section of each song – a little blurb written by me should pop up when each song starts playing.

I think 8tracks is a neat website, and if people like this sort of thing, playlists curated (and commented on) by me, I’ll probably make some more. I’ve been meaning to make a grip of “Top 7 Songs About X” for awhile now, and turning these lists into annotated mixes could be fun, and more enjoyable for readers who don’t have literally DAYS of wizard rock on their computers. I’m planning on just having the annotations sit over on the 8tracks site, but if anyone has trouble reading or accessing them (sometimes the site’s a tad buggy), lemme know and I can start posting the annotations over here as well, like a regular old list article.

Lastly, I feel obligated to say that constructing this mix was not easy, and when I got to the end of annotating it, I was surprised because I had been sure I’d included songs that didn’t make it into the 31 cut. So yes, let me acknowledge the egregiousness of not having any Snidget. Or Witherwings. Or Wrackspurt! Or House of Black. Or Hawthorn and Holly. In my defense, there’s a lot of great female wrock out there, and only so many days in a month. Also, I did try my best to follow a rule of “no doubling”, but I did use a couple people twice, because they’re awesome.

I hope you enjoy the mix, and if you have any comments or feedback, as always I’d love to hear ’em. Also, there doesn’t seem to be many wrock mixes on 8tracks, and definitely not many, if any themed ones, so if you like the technology I would love to see people making their own creative wrock mixes and such – including ones of this same theme! Please, use all those songs and bands I should have and make me feel like an idiot.

Wrock Snob out.

 

The 10 Best Songs From The Giant Squidstravaganza Presents: A New Hope: A Tribute to the Giant Squidstravaganza

Because I haven’t sucked off the Giant Squidstravaganza’s… spermataphoric gland… enough.

[Yep, an embedded image and a single dick joke, that’s all I had written originally. I do believe I’d actually worked out the list somewhere tho, lemme see… oh yeah here it is. It doesn’t appear to be in any order besides roughly how they originally appeared on the album in relation to each other. So here we go, but understand that these aren’t necessarily ranked in terms of quality, they’re just my ten favorites from the album.]

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The Top 10 Coolest Wizard Rock Merch

[I had the idea to do this for a long time, and this empty draft with only a title sat in WordPress for at least a couple years. Now, besides t-shirts (that was supposed to be a different article), I really can’t remember most wrock merch, so here’s what we’re gonna do – I’m gonna blather some about what I remember, and all you spambots can post your favorites!]

The Whomping Willows beer koozies were pretty cool. I wish I knew where mine was. The Moaning Myrtles “50 Points if it goes through her HEAD!” custom frisbees were both an insanely clever idea, and well-designed to boot. My favorite merch item of all time will forever be that time Harry and the Potters tried to sell a jar filled with bacon grease for what, 20 bucks? Then there’s the time they went on tour with PotterPuppetPals and sold VHS copies of ET (“The classic family movie!”) for 100 cold boonbonds. That means dollars. Anyway, did anyone attend The Sweetwater All-Stars’ 2010 Wampum Willow show? She just had a giant chest filled with all sorts of random stuff from Goodwill branded to be wizardy – a toy shark that says “WIZROCK” on the bottom in glitter pen, various arts and crafts things, I think there was the HPA logo made out of pipe cleaners – a really clever and great way to do cheap merch.

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Top 5 Wizard Rock Music Videos

[Thank you for visiting The Wrock Snob and reading this article! I’d love for you to jump right into the reviewy goodness, but first there is some unfortunate business to take care of. It is not in my nature to tell you specifically what or what not to buy and who to support – I tell you what I thought about an album, and if my tastes seem to align with yours, you might want to heed my suggestions. However, I must take this time to personally exhort that you do not monetarily support the bands The Remus Lupins or Ministry of Magic. The full reasons are unsettling and possibly triggering, so please proceed with caution, but if you want the full details click here. Simply put, it has been revealed that certain member/s of both bands did destructive, upsetting, and highly problematic things. While I can see the value of reviewing art no matter what the artist did on a grand society-level scale, I cannot morally allow myself to condone the financial support of these monsters, nonetheless exhorting people to do so. Now it is entirely possible this copypasta’d retroactive warning was placed on a negative review, making this sidebar somewhat moot, but I still feel it necessary to make these matters clear. Again, for full details and rumination click here, otherwise, please enjoy the article.]

Music videos have been an important part of the music scene for quite awhile now. Originally just footage of a staged performance of the song used as a promotional material, music videos have become an art form in and of themselves. Unfortunately, this is not an art form that wizard rock bands have partaken in too often – though there are plenty of fanmade videos out there that do make up for this lack (and some of them aren’t even barely relevant clips from the movies shittily pasted together)! Still, it’s always nice to see the original artists’ intention for the songs if brought into the visual medium, and we really don’t have much of that in wizard rock.

Now, it’s completely understandable why – music videos take a lot of time and effort, and there are many bands that can barely afford decent recording equipment, much less video equipment. And really, anyone can take their iPhone, give it to their friend Steve, and have Steve record them playing through their song in a garage or a field (it’s always a garage or a field, for some reason) in a few different angles, chopping it up, and uploading the steaming mess to YouTube. The best music videos help tell the story of the lyrics, or reveal new insights into the song, or push the visual medium the same way the song pushes the auditory, and it is music videos in this vein that I wish to highlight.  Starting with…

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