The Economics of the Wizarding World DO Make Sense!

Your wands may have cost you 7 galleons each, Messrs. DeGeorge, but tell me this… how much do LIES cost???

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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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An Interview with Harry and the Potters, Part 4

We continue where we left off last week, as our story interview continues…

Wrock Snob: If you were to start a new wrock band from a dedicated point of view, which character would you pick?

Joe DeGeorge: Oh, Aberforth.

[Paul laughs]

Joe: Definitely.

Paul DeGeorge: Well I already did that –

Joe: Well, yeah –

Paul: Aberforth Dumbledore and the Nannies? Look it up.

[Both “hmmm” for a little while]

Paul: It would definitely be a deep, obscure character –

WS: Stubby Boardman?

Paul: Well, we did a Stubby Boardman song on the Christmas one. Yeah, love that.

Joe: So we have dabbled in minor characters.

Paul: Gosh, Stubby’s great, man.

WS: Screw the Dumbledore/Kreacher EP, bring back Stubby!

Paul: Bring back Stubby! Man, now you got me thinking, like, that’d be a great idea. [Affects a gravelly voice] Too much butterbeer! Christmas! [Laughs]

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An Interview with Harry and the Potters, Part 3

Welcome back to another installment of my seemingly-endless interview with Harry and the Potters! In actuality, it took about 45 minutes, and this installment begins about 20 minutes in:

Wrock Snob: So, why exactly did the EP of the month club shut down, and was moving to a purely digital platform considered, and if so, why was that approach not used?

Paul DeGeorge: It shut down because it was a lot of work – a lot, lot of work. And it was pretty much just me, doing all the work. Yes, a digital approach was discussed, but ultimately I felt like the technology wasn’t totally there at the time – I think if we did it now it’d be easier to pull off digitally.

Joe DeGeorge: It would have been a lot more accessible.

Paul: Yeah. I feel like Bandcamp was kind of developing around then…

WS: Mmm-hmm, but it was shaky.

Paul: Yeah. And the other thing was that with the EPs, I always told the bands “We’re going to distribute this physically for basically a year, and after that you guys can do whatever you want with the recordings.” I didn’t want us to retain the rights to them indefinitely, so some bands have released their stuff digitally since then. I wanted the digital rights to kind of be retained by the artists, initially. I mean if we were to ever do it again, it’d probably be digital, but yeah, it was just kind of a lot of work, and by 2009, like, that year, the sales were probably only half of the previous year, so it didn’t quite have the return – we still made a lot of money for the charities, but I guess I just wanted to do something else, rather than trying to wrangle wizard rock bands to send me recordings, and doing so many damn CD pressings. [Laughs] When it also seemed like no one wanted CDs anymore, so…

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An Interview with Harry and the Potters, Part 2

After checking to make sure that yes, my equipment was indeed doing what it was supposed to do, or at the very least it was telling me it was doing what it was supposed to do, we dove back in with another hard-hitting question:

Wrock Snob: How did Snitchwiches come about?

Joe DeGeorge: Well, Paul had invented this cool sandwich – peanut butter and jelly and golden grahams –

Paul DeGeorge: No, it wasn’t jelly –

Joe: That’s what you said…

Paul: No…

Joe: Yeah, yeah, you were like, “You gotta try this cool sandwich. You know peanut butter and jelly? Throw some golden grahams on there!”

Paul: Oh, really?

Joe: That’s how you were originally pitching it.

Paul: Oh, was I?

Joe: Yeah.

Paul: Okay.

Joe: And then we were at LeakyCon ’11, down in Florida, and it was in this location that just didn’t have –

Paul: There was no food.

Joe: There was no food options for the people to eat. People were HUNGRY at that convention.

Paul: And we were coming off a tour where it was kind of at the real start of the food cart craze. So we were coming off of a tour where we were eating at all these food carts and feeling really inspired by that, and that idea of –

Joe: Starting our own wizard food cart –

Paul: Artisinal food produced right in front of you, and so we kind of borught that approach to Harry Potter/wizard food.

Joe: And so when I was like “What could I sell, what would be feasible?” Paul’s sandwich that he invented!

Paul: Yeah! And we also at the time were really into inventing stuff. Like, I was inventing a lot of hand greetings – that’s when we invented the high-flyve, at the same time.

[Paul and Joe share a hearty high-flyve.]

Paul: And so I invented this sandwich and I was like “This is a really good sandwich!”

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An Interview with Harry and the Potters, Part 1

A little over a month ago, I sat down with Paul and Joe DeGeorge on the first day of LeakyCon, to conduct an interview we had all agreed to doing about three years prior. We sat down in the noisy vendor hall as people bustled about setting things up, and after stealing a chair from Whompy’s booth, Paul and I began the interview while waiting for Joe to come back from locking up the tour van.

Wrock Snob: So, we’re going to just start things off with a hard hitting question: where did Wandicorn come from?

Paul DeGeorge: [laughs] I like that this is where we start. Wandicorn is a creature that evolved from touring together and wanting to create a sort of mascot, I suppose – each house has their own mascot, and we thought that our band should have one, and it should probably be a more magical creature than a snake or a badger, and so Wandicorn is, what, half-unicorn, half-squid, half-phoenix, half-dragon, and it has a flux capacitor and a lobster claw, so he can travel through time. Oh, and he’s got a wand for a horn, so I guess he’s not a true unicorn – he’s Wandicorn.

WS: On some of the t-shirts, the lobster claw looks more metallic – is that supposed to be robotic or is that just an error, or…?

Paul: Good question. I think it might have had to do with simply having a limited color palette for printing, and printing is spot-color on t-shirts, and I think maybe we just didn’t want to pay for, um, red. And we thought “Yeah, you know, a robotic lobster claw would be pretty cool”. I think he’s flexible, heh.

WS: So, how much does pretending to be Harry Potter rub off on you?

Paul: Well, I think that, in some ways… a lot. You know, Harry starts his own Dumbledore’s Army, and I helped start the Harry Potter Alliance, so I think that in that way, we adopted a lot of Harry Potter’s stick-it-to-the-man tendencies, and are trying to actualize those or help other Harry Potter fans actualize those.  So, quite a bit, I guess, is the answer. [laughs awkwardly]

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LeakyCon Reflections: Rock Night 2

MURICAFirst of all, HAPPY MURICA TO ALL MURICANS.

Now that that’s out of the way, my thoughts on the second night of rock at Leaky! Due to the Team Quiz running super long, I ended up missing the entirety of the first two acts, though I heard positive things about them, especially Rae Sterling. Of course, I’ve also heard positive things about myself, so you really can’t hold much stock in vague positive opinions from the ethereal “other”. Still, it seems like a good time was had by all, or at least, by most. By some.

At the very least, I can safely say that at least one person enjoyed themselves. That one person would probably be Justin, because as I’ve stated before, that fucker always seems like he’s smiling and enjoying himself, in blatant disregard of all the many reasons we have to despair of this world. What an asshole.

But speaking of which, the first set I saw the (near) entirety of was Justin Finch-Fletchley and the Sugar Quills, and it was nothing short of excellent. Now, according to my research, this opinion puts me in the minority (though the true minority seems to be having an opinion at all about the rock nights at Leaky) – some samples of what tumblr has to say about Justin’s set: “Justin Finch-Fletchley and the Quills were lame”, “Oh man, watching this set was torturous”, and “Justin Finch-Fletchley and the Sugar Quills are the worst band in the history of the universe. I HATE their lead guy.”

I would actually put it as my third favorite set of the weekend – Justin is like Whompy in that whatever you might say about their voices or instrumental abilities (things I’ve never had a problem with but I can see how others do), you cannot deny that they are natural performers, and know how to put on a damn fine show. Justin was in top form, smiling and joking his way through the whole set, with Steph on bass and Joe DeGeorge absolutely killing it with the saxophone. The live sax throughout the set alone made it a must-see show, and Joe’s talent on the sax has really improved over the years – it’s now miles ahead from the somewhat kazoo-sounding recordings on “My Wizard Scar Still Burns For You” “Save Ginny Weasley from Dean Thomas”.

The whole band seemed to be having fun, including one moment when Joe just walked over to Justin and starting blaring sax directly into Justin’s ear. This meant that suddenly we weren’t hearing anything over on Joe’s end, but it made for quite the amusing spectacle. Also, special mention must be made of Justin’s show-opening rendition of “Honeydukes” – that is a fairly long song, and the live version stretched it out even more, but the whole thing just worked, with spikes of energy, restful lulls, musical tangents, and it all coming back to one of the catchiest choruses in all of wizard rock.

I won’t deny that the crowd was not super-enthused, and I get it – Justin is not the most popular band, and he doesn’t have a show-stoppingly beautiful voice like Christian or some of the MoM boys. But he brings an undeniable presence to his performances, and he just seems so happy to be up there, and gives everything he has into each show. It’s that sincere enthusiasm that made this such a fun set, and I pity anyone who couldn’t get some enjoyment from it.

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REVIEW: Voldemort Can’t Stop The Rock!

BACON

First of all, I would like to point out that this is the HUNDREDTH WROCK SNOB ARTICLE. I am obviously very excited to have reached this point, and I want to take the time to thank everyone who has stuck with me and continued to visit this site over the past 3 years, through all the drama, crapped out posts, failed series, giant gold letters, lack of content, and that one time I changed the background of the website to a dancing horse mask gif. I can’t say I understand your continued interest in what I have to say about a waning genre, but I also can’t thank you enough for it.

And so, I wanted to do something very special for this hundredth article. I considered many options – the Top Ten Wrock Albums, The Remus Lupins Retrospective, write the first installment of the Top 500 Wrock Songs, heck, maybe even switch things up and review a Ministry of Magic album for once. But then, in a flash of completely self-inspired brilliance, it came to me – I should review not the best, but the most important wizard rock album of all time! But then I realized that Anything You Can Do, I Can Do Wetter is a work that speaks for itself, and continuing a discussion of this masterpiece beyond the reach of this sentence would do naught but tarnish its perfection. So, instead I’m going to review the second most important wrock album – Harry and the Potters’ Voldemort Can’t Stop The Rock! But I am not going to review this album in the usual manner, oh no. You see, for a work as important as this, I need to analyze not the music, not even the lyrics, but their sociological impact, and moreover, their metaphoric resonance.

By this I am of course referring to the fact that Harry and the Potters’ second album is secretly about bacon.

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Wrock Snob 2011 Stats!

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2011 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

The concert hall at the Syndey Opera House holds 2,700 people. This blog was viewed about 25,000 times in 2011. If it were a concert at Sydney Opera House, it would take about 9 sold-out performances for that many people to see it.

Click here to see the complete report.

The above was all auto-generated text. This isn’t really an article, sorry, but the stats are pretty interesting, especially the location ones – PROOF (as if we ever needed any) that Sweden is a surprising hot-bed of wizard rock. Remember – Harry and the Potters are on TRIVIAL PURSUIT in Sweden.  So, if you like numbers, well, those sure are a lot of numbers. Real 2011 in review article later someday maybe?

Last Minute Wizzies Post!

Wherein I quickly post my predictions for who will win the Wizzies, AND who I personally voted for.  Since they start in one hour, this will probably have fairly little reasoning and explanation and analysis.  Of course, every single time I’ve said “this will be a shorter article with less rambling”… we all know how THAT turns out.

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