GUYS GUYS GUYS GUYS GUYS. It is now officially 1 WEEK until the release of Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them in theaters! Last night I got to watch a bunch of my friends from MuggleNet attend the world premiere in NYC, schmoozing with the likes of Eddie Redmayne, David Heyman, and THE QUEEN HERSELF, Jo Rowling. It was the happiest I’ve felt in…well…I donno, several weeks maybe? You can see all their footage on MuggleNet’s Facebook.
Being a volunteer staff member at the site, I’ve had a hard time keeping away from spoilers, because they are starting to creep in everywhere (I had to post a few cast interviews to the site, and my boss warned us not to read them if we didn’t want to be spoiled – our poor editor, though….). What I do know is that it is a FANTASTIC time to be a Harry Potter fan, and I don’t think I’ve been this excited for any movie release since Order of the Phoenix (after which David Yates crushed my dreams). (“But Emily, isn’t David Yates also directing Fantastic Beasts?” Yes he his, other self, but this is a totally new story with a very different atmosphere, and I think he’s gonna nail it this time. “Okkaaaayyyy, but you remember what he did to movies 5-8, right?” Shhhhh….he’s gonna nail it.)
One of the reasons fans are so incredibly excited is because there is no expectation to live up to for this story: no characters we fear being cut, events mixed around, or details glossed over. This story was written for the screen by J.K. Rowling herself. I’m not even going to try to contain my excitement. Newt’s case isn’t big enough to contain my excitement, and he’s got a whole zoo in that thing.
“Wait, wasn’t this post titled something about Wizard Rock? When is that gonna become relevant?” RIGHT NOW, OTHER SELF. RIGHT NOW!
I really just wanted an excuse to talk about my excitement for Fantastic Beasts today, but I needed a way to ground the post so it wasn’t just all fangirling. Now that the fangirling is over, let’s talk about wizard rock.
Wizard rock: (noun) a genre of awesome music that has questionable musical quality but is the best damn thing about the Harry Potter fandom (in my humble opinion). Even if you don’t think it’s the best damn thing about the fandom, you have to concede that it’s unique. Sure, there have been other fandoms in the past that people have written music about, but Harry Potter is the only one with its own genre with over 100 bands. It’s a staple of the community and represents the extent of the massive and earth-shattering effect Harry Potter had on fandom as a thing in general.
Unfortunately, fantastic wizard rock is a bit hard to find these days, due to the fall of Myspace. (*Moment of silence for Myspace*). Myspace was the platform on which wizard rock was born and grew into a thing. I’m so glad I downloaded all the wizard rock I did as a pre-pubescent Myspace user because a lot of it is now lost to the ages. Not every band survived to the age of Bandcamp and Spotify and whatnot, so it’s really hard to find old wrock if you don’t have a bunch of old CDs or downloaded mp3 files. Thankfully, there is a surprising amount of it available on Spotify, mostly from bands that are still around and making music. But many bands are using Bandcamp now, so that’s the best place to start looking.
There are also other places where you can find wizard rock these days. Imma give a holler to Wizrocklopedia, who is back and kicking. If you want a place to explore the music, the culture, or the news about wrock, that’s the place to go. Also, check out Your Wizard Rock Resource, which has an encyclopedic list of all bands, albums, and songs that is seriously magical and has helped me a lot in research for my work on MuggleNet.
I’ve created a starter playlist below for anyone who needs introducing to the genre; if your ears have not yet been blessed by wrock, know that it is a DIY genre. It’s like fan fiction, but music. There are some wrock bands of exceptional quality out there, but many sound like teenagers messing around in the basement (which many of them are). But that’s why it’s awesome. It’s an acquired taste, and for me, it’s about the heart and soul of the fan community, not the quality of music. It’s about the passion we have for the story, its message, and each other. And it’s just so damn fun. Enjoy!