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State of the Pedia

Sat, Jul 8, 2017

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Hi, readers. We’ll keep this short and to the point.

Each time we’ve resurrected the ‘Pedia, it’s been with the absolute best intentions. This site means a lot to us, and we’ve been trying to keep it alive and thriving for maybe longer than we should have. Fact is, we just can’t keep up as it stands now, and we can’t keep rebooting and then letting it fall to the wayside because of our real life obligations. The ‘Pedia means too much to us to let it keep slipping when we can’t bring you as much content as we’d like.

As it stands right now, the Archive is still there. The site is still up and running, and we will probably continue to publish sporadic content, which we hope you’ll continue to read and engage with.

If you’d like to contribute anything to the site, feel free to contact us! A show review? Cool! A review of some new-to-you album you got from the archive? Awesome! A review of a new band you heard about? Great! Let us know.

We love the ‘Pedia too much to let it die completely. We’ll be here, in whatever form that takes at the time, as long as someone is writing, recording, performing, posting videos of, or just plain discussing Wizard Rock. You can’t really get rid of us, we’ve still got some more horcruxes left.

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Review: Yes All Witches Tour 2017

Sat, Jul 8, 2017

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Editor’s note: Hey! It’s been a minute. We’re excited to bring you this Yes All Witches tour review from our contributor, Kelly. Make sure to check out her vlog at the end!

It’s been roughly eight years since the last time I’d had a chance to go to a wizard rock concert, so the minute I found out that the Yes All Witches Tour was coming to Wisconsin on June 24, my friend and I started planning our roughly four-hour roadtrip to get to the Village Green in Ripon. Alyssa and I were both pretty into Tonks and the Aurors before we went to the show, and knew a few Tianna and the Cliffhangers songs, but had never heard anything from LosingLara.

When we got to Ripon, we were really excited to see how nice the venue the library had provided for the concert was: in the middle of town, outdoors, and gave off a summer concert vibe. We were also really excited about the Bertie Botts beans and fizzing candy that the library had on hand, in addition to a book raffle. It was definitely an A+ venue.

The show started out with Steph of Tonks and the Aurors doing a two-song set, which got the crowd excited for more music. As soon as Tianna took the stage, we started wondering what songs she was going to play, and her set did not disappoint. Unfortunately, halfway through Tianna’s set, the wind really started picking up and everyone started to get cold – at the end of the show it was about 55 degrees and we were wrapped in blankets in addition to our sweatshirts and long pants. Tianna toughed it out though, and played a great variety of songs off her 2015 album, “Picking Up Where You Left Off”.

When Steph came on to play “Aurors for the Win” and “Honorary Marauder”, the wind had gotten so bad that a lot of the audience had left, which was unfortunate, because the show just got better after that, but weather is gonna do what weather’s gonna do… What we did notice, however, was that Steph was completely unshaken and even more energetic the colder it got.

Lara’s set was a pleasant surprise, and I’m glad she came on the tour this year. Her song “I Said No” fit right in with the feminist theme of Yes All Witches, and all of her music had a combination of great songwriting and fresh lyrics that I hadn’t seen in wizard rock for a while. She is definitely one of those musicians that I hope sticks around within the community, because I believe that she has a lot more music to make.

At the end of the show, Steph came on for an encore set that closed out the show with “Yes All Witches!”. This was the best part of the show in my opinion, because everyone who was there at that point was so excited to be there and it really made for a strong closer.

To sum it up: the venue would’ve been one of the best wrock venues I’ve seen – had it not been 55 degrees. All three artists had sets that were diverse, yet tied together by feminist and queer lyrics that brought a clear message of what the show stood for. The merch was really great this time around (especially the Witch Gang t-shirts, the material was the softest ever AND THEY GLOW IN THE DARK!) and each artist had a solid variety of music for sale.

For those who missed the tour this time around, Steph announced she is doing some solo dates later on in the summer, so check out her Facebook page as she will be adding more dates soon!

I also did a vlog documenting our roadtrip, which is attached below:

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Buy Wizard Rock, Help Support the ACLU!

Thu, Feb 2, 2017

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Tomorrow, Bandcamp (home of countless wizard rock albums) will be donating 100% of their proceeds to the ACLU.

Unless you’ve been living under a rock (and to be honest, with all that’s been going on here in the US we wouldn’t blame you if you were) you understand just how important the ACLU is going to be over the coming years.

Bandcamp’s pledge can mean an incredibly large donation to the ACLU to help fund them for the coming fights they’re going to have in front of them to help protect, quite literally, millions of people.

If there’s any wizard rock that you don’t currently have in your collection and it’s on Bandcamp, tomorrow, Friday February 3, 2017 is the day to buy it.

In fact, here’s a handy link that should bring up pages upon pages of wizard rock albums, EPs, and singles you can buy on Bandcamp to support wizard rock bands AND the ACLU at the same time!

Get to it, wizard rock fans. We’re going to have a fight ahead to help protect our fellow people, let’s make sure we have a killer soundtrack ready to go while we all band together to fight injustice and protect all of our civil liberties.

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Here’s what you missed in #wrock! 2016 Wizard Rock Sampler Edition

Wed, Jan 18, 2017

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As we turn our calendars to the new year, we wanted to throw it back to something you may or may not have missed in late 2016, the #wrocksampler, compiled by Snidget’s own Grace Kendall.

The #wrocksampler was released on September 3, 2016, and featured songs from old favorites like Draco and the Malfoys, and newer bands like Percy and the Prefects.

Grace decided to put together the sampler after noticing that, in recent years, the majority of wizard rock compilations being released were from the Harry Potter Alliance (which just recently put its older compilations online, so go snatch those up) and were invitation-only. Grace said that she missed “the old days, where people just sent in songs and they automatically got in and you got a real taste of what’s going on in the scene.” As a musician whose own songs were released on charity compilations throughout the years, Grace knew first-hand what it felt like to be included in a project with people she looked up to. “As a musician starting out, it’s exciting to be on an album with your heroes.” Grace wanted to create an opportunity for newer musicians to get the attention that they need to help them grow and get more exposure. (more…)

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Unexpected Wrock – Grimgotts “Extenditus Playus” EP

Sun, Jan 1, 2017

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On one of my usual excursions through Bandcamp to find wizard rock releases I may have missed out on, I stumbled upon Grimgotts. I immediately cottoned on to their name, and seeing that they also were tagged “power metal” and “epic metal”, my interest needle spiked up into the red.

I’ve been a power metal fan for years, having worn out two copies of Helloween’s “Keeper of the Seven Keys Part II” cassette tape back in my junior high days (ok enough of the “you’re OLD” jokes already. And get off my lawn). Guitar Hero players are probably more familiar with Dragonforce’s brand of over-the-top power metal, a level Grimgotts doesn’t quite achieve. Not for lack of trying, however.

Extenditus PlayusI downloaded their second release, the Extenditus Playus EP to give it a listen, and noticed right away that only half of the songs on the EP were actually wizard rock (their first EP does not contain any wizard rock songs). That was OK by me, given how well the music was written and performed.

He That Lived is a short orchestral intro to the album that sounds as if it should be behind the opening credits of a Final Fantasy game. It’s not bad… but after a few listens you’ll probably skip it the remainder of the times you listen to the EP. The transitions between its few sections are a bit abrupt and there’s no strong melodic line to tie it all together. Still, it’s a decent introduction to the type of music that’s about to hit your ear holes.

I Am The Hero is where the EP truly kicks off with majestic dual guitar leads and pounding double bass drums driving the song forward. The electronic strings sound a lot better in this song versus the intro, as the guitars and drums help mask the fact that the strings are computer generated. The vocals teeter on the edge of grandiose and cheesy… which honestly, is just where you want solid power metal singers to be.

The lyrics themselves are about Harry’s place in the wizarding world, and getting ready for the coming fight against Voldemort with the help of his best friend, the Ginger Knight (yes that’s how Ron’s referred to on the wizard rock songs). Much like the vocals themselves, the lyrics are a bit tongue in cheek but they’re more than interesting enough to keep you singing along.

Liquid Luck brings us a chiming piano intro and more soaring vocals as Harry lets his best pal the Ginger Knight know that he just needs a little luck during the first Quidditch match against Slytherin in HP and the Half Blood Prince. The rest of the band gradually comes in over the course of the song, but this isn’t the banger that I Am The Hero was. It’s a nice song, but more of a quieter mid-tempo tune.

The remaining 3 songs on the EP are pirate/nautical themed, and harken back to the uptempo, straightforward power metal that the EP promised. The lyrics continue to not take themselves too seriously, making the whole EP pretty enjoyable.

On the whole, the wizard rock fan in me wanted more songs about the Potter universe, but the Alestorm fan in me was pretty pleased with the whole release. The musicianship and production work are definitely at the top end of wizard rock releases, and the first few tracks would make a great introduction to someone who loves metal and is curious about wizard rock.

Extenditus Playus is a free download, so it’s well worth the whopping 1 minute it will take you to download the entire EP, even if you only end up listening to the first few songs (and if you do, you’re doing yourself a disservice). If you like the tunes, please consider giving the band a couple of bucks via their Bandcamp page to help encourage them to bring us more epic wizard rock.

Grimgotts recently announced on their Twitter feed that a new EP is forthcoming, and we are definitely hoping that there’s more wizard rock on the way from these power metal rockers in London UK.

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Announcing the Wizrocklopedia Music Archive

Thu, Dec 15, 2016

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fromtheeditors

One ongoing topic within the wizard rock community the past few years has revolved around older music, and its lack of availability. With MySpace fading away, and changes they made a few years back to wipe out a lot of features and available music, it’s been tougher to (legally) find older music from bands that are no longer around.

Even some popular bands have opted to not keep their music updated on subscription services like iTunes and Spotify due to ongoing maintenance fees, leaving fans searching for ways to listen to some fantastic (but older) wizard rock.

After some discussions with ‘pedia staff members, along with some current and former wizard rock bands, we decided to open up a new searchable wizard rock archive that features bands and music that have not been available online for some time.

So without further ado, we present to you the Wizrocklopedia Music Archive, hosted at Bandcamp!

Wizard rock fans can use the archive to download albums, EPs, and singles from some older bands who have given us permission to host their music for download, including Gred & Forge, Catchlove, Roonil Wazlib, and more. The bulk of the albums are available absolutely free of charge, which was the request from many of the bands. Some of the music is available as Name Your Price, so you can either download for free or opt to give the band a few dollars for their music if you like.

Because the bulk of the downloads are available for free, we are limited to a total of 200 downloads per month. If you happen to attempt a download and aren’t successful, we guess that means it’s due to the archive being too successful! If we ever get to that point, we’ll figure out what we need to do to help everyone get the downloads they want.

There are also some compilations available in the archive, many of which were originally released to help raise money for specific charities. We’ve put links to each charity on the comp’s page in the archive, and we highly encourage wizard rock fans who download those compilations to consider a donation to continue to support those great causes.

We absolutely plan to add more music to this archive over time as we speak with more bands.  Our ongoing concern is to make sure that the albums/EPs we upload are ones that the bands themselves have specifically given us permission to host. Some bands formerly sold their music online as well as in physical CD form, and have preferred to leave their music offline. We are perfectly okay with that, and will only upload music with direct permission from the bands who created it.

Bands who still have their music available online through outlets like Bandcamp and iTunes won’t be available in the archive, as we want wizard rock fans to continue to support those bands by purchasing their music directly from the artists.

We’d also like to give a big “thank you” to Your Wizard Rock Resource website; there were a few albums that we did not have release dates for when uploading them to the archive, and Susannah’s website was a valuable resource for us when it came to that info!

If your band no longer has music available online and would like us to host it for you, please let us know! Comment below or send us an email. We’ll let you know the easiest way to get us your music & artwork, and we’ll take it from there. Hosting the music at Bandcamp allows fans to find it more easily than placing it at a file sharing site with direct links, and also gives bands the option to accept money if fans would like to purchase the music instead of just downloading it for free.

If you’re a wizard rock fan and there’s some music you’d like to be able to download once again, let us know in the comments below! We’ll do our best to contact the bands to see what we can do. At this point in time, contact info for a good number of bands is woefully out of date, and we’re doing our best to try and track people down so we can be sure that we have their permission before we do anything with their music.

So head on over to the archive and download away!

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Madam Pince & Swish and Flick Team Up For “HufflePride”

Fri, Dec 9, 2016

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Madam Prince and the Librarians recently teamed up with Swish from Swish and Flick for the scorching track “HufflePride”, and you can see their all-new video below.

WARNING: You’ll want to turn the speakers down if you’re listening to this one at work due to NSFW lyrics!

The track can also be downloaded free of charge (anyone who opts to purchase the track will have their funds donated to the ACLU, per Ariel Factor Birdoff) at the Madam Pince and the Librarians Bandcamp page.

Ariel gave us a little info on the background of this song, which actually started out as a poem she had published a few years back. According to Ariel, she had so much fun reading the poem at shows that she decided to turn it into a rap song. She sent the lyrics to Stacy (aka Swish from Swish and Flick) who produced the killer backing track. Ariel wrote a few more verses to fill out the remainder of the song, which turned into the banger you can see above.

When it came time to shoot the video, a casting call was sent out and the assembled group shot the video in one day.

Check out the video, download the track, and let us know what you think of “HufflePride” in the comments section below!

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Subversive Wrock: Using the power of a story to influence the world

Tue, Dec 6, 2016

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One of the most amazing things about wizard rock is the sense of community and the diverse group of voices within the genre. As someone who’s been in the fandom since before I was even old enough to be in junior high, I can pretty safely say that wizard rock and the people involved in the community have been significant role models to me and have shaped my worldview considerably.

Growing up in a very conservative community, artists like Harry and the Potters and The Whomping Willows introduced me to values that I probably would otherwise not have discovered until much later in life. I did not realize how significant this introduction was until this election cycle, when I was going through playlists to find songs that related not only to the struggles of the wizarding world, but those that related to the struggles our country is facing right now.

Here is a (non-exhaustive) list of songs that highlight progressive values and activism and will make you feel a little bit of hope even though these days are dark. (more…)

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An Exhaustive Gift-Guide for Wizard Rock Fans

Mon, Nov 28, 2016

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The holiday season is nearly upon us, and if you’re the type to celebrate by gift-giving (or gift-receiving) then here are some ideas to help you figure out what to get for the wizard rock fan in your life.

I need a present that can be worn – the world needs to know my love of wizard rock.

You’ve got a lot of great options here. Let’s start with three shirts from Lauren Fairweather: Harry I’m Coming Home, My Muggle Friends Just Don’t Understand and It’s Real For Us.

Tonks and the Aurors has a pretty robust merch shop! Perhaps a Huffle Riot shirt for the Puff in your life? Or maybe get radical with a Yes All Witches patch or a Witch Gang t-shirt. Spiffy!

Draco and the Malfoys have a variety of t-shirts (many of which are on $5 clearance!) as well as bracelets for the evil-wizard-rock fan in your life.

The Mudbloods have a Peace & Love & Happiness venn diagram shirt that will be an instant hit with your recipient. Nerds love venn diagrams.

Harry and the Potters also have a few shirts up for grabs, including the classic Save Ginny design and the ever-important message I Only Listen to Wizard Rock.

Clothes are nice, but how about some home goods?

Try the Harry and the Potters mug featuring the lyrics “I’d rather not talk about your dead ex-boyfriends over coffee.” Subtle and perfect for a housewarming gift.

For those who like something a bit stronger to drink, consider these HP-inspired flasks by The Blibbering Humdingers.

Or enjoy Draco and the Malfoy’s assortment of lunch boxes, mugs and beach balls. Party like you’re evil from the comfort of your own home! (more…)

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Songs about Remus Lupin (and why we love them)

Tue, Nov 22, 2016

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remuslupin_wb_f3_lupinlookingconcernedinhisoffice_still_080615_landRemus Lupin is one of the most-loved characters in the Harry Potter series, and he also happens to be a character that’s had a lot of songs written from his perspective and about him. Because of his backstory, there’s a level of raw emotion that makes you feel everything in many of these songs – but that’s not to say there aren’t some really great funny songs about him as well. Here’s a list of songs that celebrate his character in ways that wouldn’t be possible without music.

NOTE: This is not an exhaustive list, and these are in no particular order. The majority of these songs can be found on Spotify or iTunes, but there are a few that have proven hard to find online.

Lupin’s Tale (Where are We Going) – Oliver Boyd & the Remembralls 

This is one of my all-time favorite wizard rock songs. Ever. It really gets inside Remus’ head (and is one of the only songs by a non-Remus centric band that does so), and as usual, the lyrical genius of Christian Caldeira shines through in this ballad you can’t help but jam to.

Lyric highlight: “Oh, when I was young, I’d hide from the world all those lonely nights/And I still can’t believe my friends transformed, to help me get by.”

If Loving You is Wrong Then I’m A Werewolf – Bella’s Love 

Here’s one that I’m not sure a lot of people know about. I was a huge fan of Ben’s album “The Standard Book of Awesome” when it came out, and this song still stands the test of time. If you’re a big fan of brutally honest, acoustic wrock and Remus/Tonks, this one is for you.

Lyric highlight: “I know I’ve been standoffish, I know I’ve been a dick/I know you’ve gone to Dumbledore about us/Harry said your Patronus changed after you got off that train/I’m so sorry about us”

Wolfstar – The Whomping Willows

For all of you who aren’t the biggest fans of Remus/Tonks, there are a couple of great Remus/Sirius songs out there, and this is one of them. It’s always really great to see things that aren’t necessarily canon make their way into wizard rock, especially because it’s validating for fans who identify with the relationship in question. The tune is really catchy, so get ready to dance!

Lyric highlight: “You know you’re made for each other, it’s been that way all along/When the moon aligns with the dog star, the chance for true love is strong”

Werewolf Love – Tonks & the Aurors

Here’s another Remus/Tonks song, and lucky for you, there are TWO versions of it! It was released on both “The Pink Album” and “A Familiar Beat” in two different styles (rock and Motown) and both are great if you’re looking for something you won’t be getting out of your head for awhile.

Lyric highlight: “The man I love was bitten one night, when he was young but yet he still survived/But look at the man he has turned out to be, and he has learned to love me”

My Teacher is a Werewolf – Harry and the Potters

This was one of the very first songs written about Remus Lupin (if not the first), and it was written before we even read the last three books in the series. At just 36 seconds long, this bona fide classic is not only a quick listen, it’s got some awesome lyrics too.

Lyric highlight: “My teacher is a werewolf, he’s liable to bite someone in class/He’s locked inside the Shrieking Shack”

Love Song for Professor Lupin – The Parselmouths

Here’s another old school wrock song – it would be just wrong to write a list of songs about Remus Lupin and not put this one on it. This one is just classic Parselmouths, tambourine included.

Lyric highlight: “I wanna tell you ’bout a little secret, Professor Lupin/I’m sure that Dumbledore wouldn’t approve/Of the crush I had on a former teacher/What can I say, I guess werewolves are kinda cute”

More Than Just a Werewolf – RiddleTM

Finally, if you’re looking for a song to stab you in the heart, this would be the one. Written from Harry’s perspective during Deathly Hallows after Remus walks out on Tonks, it’s a reassuring ballad that tugs on your heartstrings a little bit more once you realize that Remus won’t *actually* be physically able to be Teddy’s hero.

Lyric highlight: “I know why you’re scared now, take it from me/It’s complicated conforming to society
You’re just a monster, but think of what you are to her/So much more than you have ever though you could be”

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