Wednesday, August 15, 2007

More Wrock [Video]

This is just a quick follow-up on my earlier wizard rock post. Seemed unfair to spotlight the Remus Lupins only, so I after a quick search on YouTube, I found this clip from the actual concert. It's the Whomping Willows playing a song about how Harry and Draco secretly want to make out.

If you are eagle-eyed, you might spy Emily sitting on the floor along the back wall with the other munchkins. She's sitting at the feet of the woman holding the baby.


Monday, August 13, 2007

Flash! AH! AH!

I just got around to watching the pilot episode of the new Flash Gordon series on the Sci Fi channel.

I'm pretty darn forgiving when it comes to bad tv sci fi. I have Sliders on DVD, I watch Tom Baker Dr. Who whenever it's on local PBS and I can't resist an episode of Gil Gerard Buck Rogers. All of which means I'll be keeping this thing on the Tivo season pass for at least a few more weeks.

I'm not going to waste blog space dissecting the pilot episode. Nor am I going to criticize the stilted acting, bad dialog, lack of special fx, missing actions sequences, or the heavily-borrowed-from-Sliders plot devices.

I have only one true bitch about this show. And it's the lack of this:

C'mon Sci Fi! You've been teasing us for weeks with promos playing little snippets of this classic theme (albeit a cover version) and you don't even use it in the show! Not even in the closing credits! Don't you realize that all classic sci fi shows have killer opening credits and theme music?

Would BTVS still rock without the Nerf Herder title sequence?

Would Star Trek be as cool without the NCC-1701 zipping through space?

Would the Greatest American Hero or Buck be as awesome without their opening themes?

Would classic BSG have even been a good show without its theme music?

Word of advice to Sci Fi Channel: Next week, Flash better have some opening credits, and they better KICK SOME ASS! Ah! Ah!

...ok, before you start blasting me, I realize that the new BSG and LOST both lack awesome credits and theme music, but they are so awesome, I forgive them.

Friday, August 10, 2007

Wrock on! [Video]

Ok, first for those not familiar with this musical movement, a quick definition courtesy of the all-knowing-but-not-always-accurate Wikipedia:

"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 movement started in Massachusetts, though has grown internationally. 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."

I'd heard mention of this movement in various media outlets during the latest frenzy surrounding the release of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows and last night I got to experience it in person when I took Emily and Nate to a free concert at the Princeton public library. The concert featured three bands, The Whomping Willows, The Moaning Myrtles, and The Remus Lupins. After the 2000+ person turnout for the book release block party a few weeks back, I was worried there wouldn't be room to swing a kneazle, but rain forced the show indoors which I think kept the crowd manageable. According to Em, the Myrtles are now her favorite band. What can I say? At four and a half she's already into girl power.

For lack of a better phrase, I can only describe it as pretty cool. Solid music, clever lyrics and great theatrics. Being an almost-grown-up, I probably won't be following the wizard rockers on tour anytime soon, but as a geek-at-heart, I can definitely admire the sort of extreme fandom that has spawned this musical movement. If the Potter-era had been during my own teenage years I'm sure my pals and I would have been wizard rock devotees. Seeing all these Potter-fanatics over the last few weeks brings back warm memories of being first in line to see Batman (circa 1989) wearing a batsuit cobbled together from bits of vinyl and an old scuba mask with my pals, The Joker (Scott) and the Riddler (Dex), by my side. Not to forget the time my fellows geeks and I dressed as the cast of characters from Bill & Ted's Excellent Adventure. And there's not enough space in this blog to cover all the Renaissance festivals and comic con shenanigans, but I will pass on this tip to future costume wearing crazies: No matter how authentic you want your superperson mask to be, you should still cut some eye-holes in it.

Yep, wizard rock. All of the bands I mentioned are on MySpace as well as many more. Oh, and did I mention? The Remus Lupins rock. Check 'em out.

(For disclosure's sake, this video is not from last night's concert. We actually didn't get to stay and see the Remus Lupins, so I went looking for them online. After hearing their stuff, was bummed we didn't get to stay for their set.)