Monday, November 15, 2010

Posted by Laurel Garver on Monday, November 15, 2010 19 comments
The interwebs are all abuzz about this week's release of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows film. Many other bloggers are writing Potter posts on topics big and small. Here are some lovely gals I'm joining for Potter Week, including some new friends:

Jen Daiker
Lisa Galek
Renae Mercado
Colene Murphy
Melissa Wideen

If you aren't deep into Potter lore, you might be surprised to know that this book series has spawned all sorts of cultural phenomena. I'll touch on a number of them throughout the week--a kind of intro to Potter Fandom.

Wizard Rock/Wrock
Since 2000, hundreds of bands have been spawned that do nothing but Potter-inspired songs. Here's a quick documentary to give you a feel for the genre:



Philly is one of many hotbeds of Wizard Rock. An annual Yule Ball is held in the Philly suburbs. I heard my first all Wizard Rock concert at the Free Library back in 2007, featuring The Moaning Myrtles, The Whomping Willows and the Remus Lupins. Since then, we've purchased or downloaded dozens more songs. I adore The Ministry of Magic, which does techno-pop. But all sorts of styles are represented, from country and adult alternative to rap and punk.

The most common venue for these groups to perform? Libraries. Most groups have literacy promotion as a core goal. But most of all, these groups are a kind of fandom that buys into Rowling's imagined universe and creatively makes it their own. How awesome is that?

Just for fun, go google your favorite HP character and find the band created in his or her honor. What did you find?

Have you ever attended a Wizard Rock event? Visited the Myspace Wrock community?

19 comments:

  1. I did not even know this existed! How fun is that? The whole Harry Potter world is just amazing. J.K. is a genius as far as I'm concerned.

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  2. Ha! That's totally news to me. But awesome how a work of fiction can spin off into other areas of artistic endeavor, no?

    Too fun!

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  3. Wow, Laurel you are awesome! I had no idea anything like this existed and now that you've brought it to my attention I must stop by google!!!

    YAY FOR HARRY POTTER!

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  4. I saw We Are Wizards about a year ago and it made me cry because it was just so...wow. All those kids and people loving reading and HARRY just so much. Awesome.

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  5. I LOVE Harry Potter, but I had no idea about this kind of stuff. Really cool!

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  6. Janet: I think it's the fact the HP's fantasy world overlaps our world has made it open to this kind of invention in a way Tolkein's LoTR doesn't.

    Simon: It IS awesome. Some of these bands are very, very professional too.

    Jen: Thanks for letting me join your awesome blog chain!! I'll also be dishing about HP in academia, Muggle Quiddich, fan fic and more.

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  7. Heather: I'd seen another good documentary about Wizard Rock at an event at University of Pennsylvania Museum in 2008, but couldn't find a link on YouTube. It is so inspiring to see how literature spawns other kinds of creativity.

    Candice: HP fandom is even broader than Star Trek. I don't think Trekkies are starting bands. :-)

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  8. You know I did hear of the wizard rock but haven't actually HEARD it. Too great that people are reading- that's really the best

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  9. I know about Wizard Rock, but I've never been to a concert. There's going to be nightly Wizard Rock events at LeakyCon, so I'm hoping to get exposed while I'm there.

    Oh, and I do have Harry and the Potters on my iPod :)

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  10. that is awesome! I had no idea there were so many bands! I knew a few but that is mind-boggling! So so glad you joined in this week! Happy to have met you!

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  11. That was amazing! Thanks for sharing!I had no idea there were so many of these bands! Can't wait to see what you have in store for us tomorrow!

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  12. holyhorcruxes! I had no idea, but I'd buy you a butterbeer if we lived close by, Laurel. Awesome.

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  13. A few years ago friends gave me a cd of Harry themed Christmas songs... So much fun!

    I'm came to haunt you from Jen's blog. We connected over the weekend on my blog. I'm doing Harry trivia every day for the rest of the week. Please stop by I'd love to see you.

    Michael

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  14. That was my first sighting. It IS cool. Thanks for sharing it. I happened to click on your blog when my 10-year-old twins were in the room - big Potter fans. They thought it was funny.

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  15. I do know a few of these bands! Its such a crazy cool phenomenon. I didn't even think to touch on the cultural changes this week. Excellent way to look at these books! So glad you teamed up with us (don't worry I'm adding you to all following posts!)

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  16. I've never heard of "wizard rock/wrock" in my life...and I was worried that made me stupid. But, thankfully a bunch of others commented they hadn't heard of it either. Whew.
    Still, that makes you 'in the know', you young hipster girl, you. :)

    My daughter is SO excited about the movie this weekend. I think we'll go on Saturday, in (false, foolish) hopes that it won't be as insane. I'll be thinking of you when we watch it. :)

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  17. Bekah: many of the bands have myspace pages where you can hear free sample songs. It's pretty fun to explore!

    Lisa: Harry and the Potters are one of the earliest bands to form. Who else will you see at LeakyCon?

    Colene: It's great to meet you, too! Thanks for letting me join the fun!

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  18. Renae: Pretty cool that it's books that spurred so many to think kind of creativity! And thanks for letting me join in your awesome blog ring!

    Tricia: Attend an HP event or two and you'll find a vast subculture represented. Our city-wide library had a concert years back as a wrap-up of their children's summer reading program. Some concert goers had driven HOURS to attend.

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  19. Michael: Great to meet another HP fan. I'll swing by to visit you later this AM and add you to the chain!

    Mary: The Hungarian Horntails started up when the boys were like 9 and 5 years old! If your guys are musical, it could we way fun to start their own band. :-)

    Melissa: Thanks for letting me join the fun! The fan culture is vast and fascinating. I have loads of goodies to share this week!

    Lola: Ha! Hipster not ubergeek? I'm not as deep in fan culture as some, but I'm aware of its many branches. Stop back all week to learn more!

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