Category Archives: harry and the potters

Uncle Monsterface – This is an Adventure!

Uncle Monsterface is one of those bands that has to be seen and heard. You just can’t get the full effect from listening to their music, even though the tunes are very cool. The Massachusetts-based ‘sock puppet rock band’ is an experience. Taking their musical cues from Devo, Ookla the Mok, the Dead Milkmen and They Might Be Giants, and their lyrical inspiration from videogames, comic books, television and even Harry Potter – throw in some “Muppet Show” sensibility, a little improv cabaret and some “Kids in the Hall,” and you’ve got the full Monsterface stage experience.

Like their previous work, the new album “This is an Adventure!” is another loving musical journey back into geek pop culture. Superheroes, videogames and Dungeons & Dragons permeate the tunes as well as the most fun you’ve had since you played your Nintendo 64. My favorites are “Kill Your Boyfriend!” “Save Our Superheroes,” “The Gary Gygax Song” and especially that clash of the titans, “Mashed Potato Vs. Vampire.” But the whole CD is marvelous. And if you hurry, you can download it for free, with a promise, at their website. Your favorite Uncle is also available on iTunes as well.

Don’t forget to check them out when they come to your town with Harry and the Potters and Math the Band on the Unlimited Enthusiasm Tour this summer – in Philly on June 29th. Come on out! After all how many bands have their own sock puppet monster?

Album artwork by Daria Tessler, band photo by Shannon Casey Splain. Uncle Monsterface can also be found on MySpace. And special thanks to the original Potterdelphian, Andrea, for turning me on to this band.

Wizard Rock Rules!

Harry Potter mania is upon us with the new movie number one at the box office and the final book just days away from release, it’s hard to escape the hype. However there are parts of Harry-mania that are just not getting enough exposure, like Wizard Rock.

This phenomenon can be traced, I suppose, unfortunately, to filking which is folk-singing about Star Trek that originated at drunken (I hope) scifi conventions in the seventies, but of course Wizard Rock is much better, more tuneful and more amusing… and probably doesn’t have an odor, and most importantly it rocks!

Here’s how the dreaded Wikipedia defines Wizard Rock:

“Wizard rock is a musical movement dating from 2002 that consists of at least 200 bands made up of young musicians, playing songs about Harry Potter. The lyrics are usually humorous and simple, and many bands write songs from the point of view of a particular character in the books, usually the character who features in the band’s name. If they are performing live, they may also cosplay, or dress as, that character. Though most fans of the music are previous fans of Harry Potter, some bands have attracted listeners outside of the Harry Potter fanbase.

In contrast to mainstream bands that have some songs incorporating literary references (notably Led Zeppelin to The Lord of the Rings) among a wider repertoire of music, the majority of wizard rock bands, such as Harry and the Potters, take their inspiration entirely from the Harry Potter universe. In preserving the promotion of reading, too, bands like to perform in libraries, bookstores and schools.

A number of wizard rock bands, Draco and the Malfoys, The Whomping Willows, The Parselmouths, and The Remus Lupins, performed at the May 2007 fan convention Phoenix Rising.

A full-length feature film project documenting the wizard rock movement, Wizard Rockumentary, is currently in production.”

Besides those mentioned above, my favorites include The Hungarian Horntails, Uncle Monsterface (only barely wizard rock, but still very cool) and especially The Moaning Myrtles. As a matter of fact here‘s a recent Philadelphia Inquirer article featuring the Myrtles.

And don’t forget to visit Potterdelphia!