Wizard Rock is a term meant to encompass not necessarily a genre of sound, but rather a genre of content. It is a genre dedicated to the love and world of Harry Potter. Some readers may be familiar with this concept thanks to Blind Guardian and their thematic music, ranging from Lord of the Rings to The Forgotten Realms, and others. The thing with WRock (as it is shortened to) is that no matter your musical preference, if you have affection for Harry Potter then there is a WRock band out there for you. Whether you desire light, jangly acoustic or dance-inducing hip hop, WRock has you covered.
As a writer, it would be difficult for me to separate my Broadway experience with Newsies from the countless hours I spent as a little girl being absorbed by the film version of Newsies. As the story of newspaper boys at the turn of the century who decide to stand up to juggernauts of American business, Newsies has always been billed as a modern David and Goliath of sorts.
How often have we encountered folks who strictly distinguish the disciplined process of music composition from its fun little brother: the laid-back, youthful Rock culture? In my experience, the two are viewed as glaringly dissimilar. But is the truth of the matter so clear-cut and dry? If there’s one thing the Alternative era has taught me, it’s that the two entities may, in fact, be distant, yet kindred spirits… who are just beginning to flirt. Personally, I can’t think of a better example—a fastidious, hardworking band, bent on eloping the two— than a spirited Long Island-based band called As Tall as Lions.
It’s been a while since Ska was on the scene in music, but The Pandemics prove that not all is lost. A full-fledged eight-piece band, they bring back the 1990’s sound with a New York edge. As a blend of jaunty guitar and piano work, with real dedication to the horns and East coast attitude in their lyrics, I find myself flowing along to their music as early as the first few chords.
While on leave from Iraq—just putzing about with my brother, sharing a few beers and watching New York Noise (a local music program)—a video for a unknown band started to play. The band: O’Death. The album: Head Home. The song: “Down to Rest.” The intro to the song was quite simple (just a couple of chords, slightly haunting and repetitious). The vocals…. my God, how raw! The video itself… so odd an unprecedented. All in all, it was just a scant 3:42 seconds.