07 July 2006

another British Invasion?

Fuse #8 and Children's Music That Rocks offer detailed reports with photos on a performance by Harry and the Potters, with opening act Draco and the Malfoys. Actually, the two groups seem to have some overlap.

Here in Boston, we were serenaded last month by the Remus Lupins, whose CD is Spells from a Broken Wand and whose MySpace motto is: "Fight Evil. Read Books." As with the Potters and Malfoys, this "group" presents a puzzle. It seems to consist of a single singer-songwriter-guitarist, Alex Carpenter; more about him/them from Boston's Weekly Dig. But of course Remus Lupin always had identity issues of his own.

Forbes reported on these groups and the genre of "wizard rock" last summer. Other bands that have gotten as far as a CD include the Mud Bloods, the Hermione Crookshanks Experience [I don't want to know], and the Whomping Willows.

So here's my question: Is "wizard rock" primarily an American phenomenon? The Frappr chart of self-proclaimed fans shows many more upside-down orange raindrops in the US than in the UK. The movement's MySpace page declares its home is Hogsmeade, but the group founder identifies herself as a Texan.

I tried Googling "wizard rock" and "site:.uk," and found only about 100 hits, compared to 26,000+ with the .com suffix. Many of those UK hits were clearly unrelated to J. K. Rowling's creation. Indeed, the top link was a BBC 6 story titled "Harry Potter-themed 'Wizard Rock'--is MySpace to blame?" Harry Potter's home country doesn't seem too excited about this odd form of homage.

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