Update and Review of Servings from the Hopping Pot (Gadding with Ghouls)

It’s been quite a while, I know, but what I promised earlier is still true: Though I may post extremely inconsistently, I have zero intentions to fade away. I am now in my sophomore year of college, and academically doing decently. Obviously, I’m still rather busy, but when I went home this last weekend, I found the time to read the first two Harry Potter books, and most of the third one (I brought all seven back with me to college, though, so when I have time, I can continue reading them). This sort of re-ignited my interest in wizard rock, and so I’m back. I don’t know if I still have any readers, but I honestly don’t care – if you read my blog today or in three years, it mattes little. I just want to have this information out there just so anyone who may be interested can get to it.

There has been one obvious change, though, that will make my life much, much harder – MySpace has semi-recently changed the whole format of the site. Now, from what I can tell, the music is still up for the bands I’ve checked on, but the Blog function has been completely erased (or maybe I just can’t find it). Because of this, I won’t be able to get information on album releases, potential album releases, track listings of those albums, lyrics of the songs, etc. from MySpace anymore. To be honest, this is extremely annoying, but what would I be if I weren’t adaptable? So because of this, I may not be able to cover histories of the artists, or albums they’ve released, as much as I would like to. I will still be doing research, however, using other sites when possible, to try and find this information out. Worst comes to worst, I can at least review the music the artist had up, so while a lot of hope is lost, not everything has been thrown out the window.

With that in mind, I do have a small review I’d wish to write. In my last blog, almost six months ago, I stated that the band Gadding with Ghouls had released a sampler to promote their upcoming album, Ghouls Will Be Ghouls (I’m unsure as to whether or not this is still being worked on, to be honest). Regardless, the sampler, titled Servings from the Hopping Pot, was released, and I felt I should share some words on it, as I finally got around to downloading it. (If you so wish, you can download it also free from their bandcamp – I’ll link it at the end of this blog).

The track listing of this sampler is as such:

1. “The Office of Tom Riddle” (2:35)

2. “Winner Takes All” (3:02)

3. “Voldygroove (Shake Your)” (2:12)

4. “Never Known A Ghoul Like You Before” (2:07)

5. “Rise of the Basilisk” (2:59)

The first three songs are apparently the most downloaded songs off of Gadding With Ghoul’s first album, that being Dare to Gad, and the second two songs are new material. Actually, there is a sixth song on the sampler, which is a pleasant surprise when you download it, but I’ll keep it a surprise.

“Never Known A Ghoul Like You Before” sounds rather reminiscence of “Unwelcome Houseguest” by The Purebloods for some reason. Lyrically, it’s a rather simple song, but it is catchy, and I’d recommend it. “Rise of the Basilisk” has a darker, slightly down-tempo feeling to it (due, in most part, probably to the content matter of the song). It’s by no means a bad song, but it is a slight downgrade from the song prior to it. The secret sixth track, which has been released elsewhere, is an enjoyable song. I’ll let you check it out for yourselves, though.

All-in-all, it’s worth downloading this album, if for no other reason than to support the ongoing continuation of wizard rock. Two of the songs (three, if you count the secret track) stand out as very good (“Winner Takes All”, of course, being my favorite), so I’d recommend listening to and/or downloading this album. I do hope that Gadding with Ghouls is still working on the second album, and when if comes out, I’ll be happy to review it.

Now, I hope to be writing more regularly, especially since I’m re-reading the series at the moment, so until next time.

Hope this finds any readers well,

-JigsawXXXX

 

Links:

Servings from the Hopping Pot Sampler – http://gaddingwithghouls.bandcamp.com/album/servings-from-the-hopping-pot

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Update and Some News

Firstly, despite the fact that it’s been some time since my last blog (I have one in my Draft that I’m working on inconsistently), and I thought it best to explain why. I’m in college, though we’ve been out for the summer for a few weeks now, but what’s more important is my computer set-up at home. Not to get too detailed, I, on my computer, do no have internet access (I am writing this on my father’s computer). I’m working on getting this problem fixed, but I have absolutely zero technical abilities. To state the obvious, this means I cannot be online much of the time, and I can’t listen to and write about this genre I love.

Secondly, and this is important also, aside from wizard rock, I do partake in writing fan fiction (not on Harry Potter, though), which can also take up quite a bit of my time. That combined with my avid horror movie watching habits, trying to find a summer job, and generally trying to remain sane over the summer all factor into the low amount of total time per week I can spend on this blog. I do have this to say, though: I may be infrequent in getting blogs out, but I am not going away. This is not some blog that was started but will fade away. I’ll continue writing and posting, and though I cannot promise regularity at the time (as much as I’d like to), I do promise any readers that I’m not going to disappear.

Onto funner topics, I have three pieces of wizard rock news.

Firstly, early December last year I stated I was overjoyed when I was able to download two Split Seven Ways albums, and that I needed four more to complete my SSW collection. I’m not a religious man, but God heard my pleas. Split Seven Ways’ albums Up to No Good and It’s Real for Us are both available to download free of cost. I have not be able to listen to these CDs in full, but what I have heard, I enjoyed immensely. In case any of you are fans of Split Seven Ways, I will leave the link to her last.fm profile at the bottom of these post. Also, I need only two more CDs by Split Seven Ways, those being Love is the Answer and Wormwood & Wolfsbane. Both are apparently difficult to find, so if anyone runs into a download (even the shadiest of MP3 downloads), let me and the rest of wizard rock fans know.

Onto other news, Gadding with Ghouls, a band of which I already reviewed (by the band’s request) has intentions to release a sophomore album titled Ghouls Will Be Ghouls. Now, the album is presently a work-in-progress, but to promote it, they have created a bandcamp (one of my favorite music sites) with a free sampler of music titled Servings from the Hopping Pot. On this sampler are three songs off their debut album (“The Office of Tom Riddle”, “Winner Takes All”, and “Voldygroove (Shake Your)”) along with two new songs titled “Never Known A Ghoul Like You Before” and “Rise of the Basilisk”. I’ve not been able to listen to these songs yet (I seem to have misplaced my headphones at the moment), but I’d recommend either downloading the album or at least spreading the word of this release. If you wish to pay for the sampler, you could do that as well, as every dollar helps Gadding with Ghouls be able to continue. I’ll link this Sampler at the bottom, should anyone be interested.

Now, this news makes me happy for one (probably obvious reason): There will be a new wizard rock CD in the year 2013. Despite many wrock bands fading away with the series, these newer bands are able to keep the magic alive, which I am proud of them doing, leading me to my final piece of news.

I’ve stated prior that I am in two wizard rock projects (one with another person and one solo). While the solo act is still on a hiatus (if you want to call it that), today two more songs were recorded by the two-member project titled The Secret Broom Cupboard of Salazar Slytherin. I bring this up not for self-promotion (our music is average at best, though it is not to say we try our best with what little we have), but because we are intending on releasing our second album within the next few months, probably next month if all goes well. One of the songs recorded today, titled “Dumbledore is Dead” (a, like all of our music is, parody of “Listen to Your Heart” by DHT), with the lyrics written by me along with the vocals being performed by me, will not be on this upcoming CD, but on a tentative future EP I am working on to be released as soon as possible. I won’t get into the why’s of the situation, but we have very limited time to record music, so despite having many parodies written, we can’t always get music out in a timely manner. Anyhow, “Dumbledore is Dead” will be released on MySpace within the week, so if you’re interested, you can check it out. I’ll just link both our MySpace and BandCamp at the bottom, just in case anyone cares to check it out.

So, to summarize, I’m not going anywhere, I need two more Split Seven Ways CDs, Gadding with Ghouls have a new free sampler on their new bandcamp, and a project I am in, The Secret Broom Cupboard of Salazar Slytherin, recorded more songs today with the intention of releasing our second album in a few months. I hope any reader finds themselves well, and I hope to continue reviewing bands sometime this month.

Links:

Split Seven Ways last.fm page: http://www.last.fm/music/Split+Seven+Ways

Servings from the Hopping Pot by Gadding with Ghouls: http://gaddingwithghouls.bandcamp.com/album/servings-from-the-hopping-pot

The Secret Broom Cupboard of Salazar Slytherin’s MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/thesecretbroomcupboard

The Secret Broom Cupboard of Salazar Slyherin’s BandCamp: http://thesecretbroomcupboardofsalazarslytherin.bandcamp.com/

Update – Mini-Interview with Sienna (former member of Hermione and the Know-It-Alls)

When I first posted about Hermione and the Know-It-Alls, I ran across Sienna’s twitter page, but decided not to bother her for various reason. First off, it can come off as stalker-ish. Imagine doing something you consider relatively small in the scheme of your life, and five years later, some random male starts asking questions about it. Even if it’s not stalker-ish, it is creepy. Secondly, as it was five years ago, it can’t be expected that she would recall many details. Thirdly, and least importantly, this might bring unwanted attention to her being in a wizard rock project that she wouldn’t have wanted other friends to know. I can understand how this can be embarrassing.

Regardless of all the logic that went into the statement “I will not contact her,” I did. The driving factor was one of a slim chance, but I considered it a possibility that she would still have the audio files that have since been removed and be able to share them. Did she? For that answer, read on, but the point remains though I knew the chances were slim, I wrote to her anyways (via my personal twitter profile, which was potentially not the best idea).

Because this interview (if you can call it that) was conducted through twitter, we had to abide by some limitations, including, but not limited to, limited characters to both ask and answer questions (144 characters really makes it hard to ask concise, detailed questions, and even harder on the person who has to answer the question) and limited questions (I wasn’t going to spam her twitter feed with twenty questions, so I asked what I deemed the most important and interesting ones). Because twitter is public, I’ll share what I asked along with the answers, as anyone could technically find it, but to protect both my and her identity, I don’t feel as though I have the rights to link to her page.

Lastly, before I get to the questions and answers, I wanted to state that this was a spur-of-the-moment event, and I didn’t intend to actually interview her until I already sent a tweet her way. I don’t see myself normally doing this in the future, but once or twice might be nice just to catch up with how former wrockers are currently doing in life (which doesn’t really apply to this interview, as I asked no questions about her post-wizard rock life). Still, the idea of invading someone personal life just to ask questions about projects from years prior doesn’t sit right with me – I can write biographies just fine, and piece together rough histories, but I never saw myself crossing over to interviews. That said, I can understand how interviews can make this more real, so perhaps when another good time arises, I can use this tactic once more. So, without any further dilly-dallying, my short chat with Sienna.

 

After confirming this was the right person, I asked about the song which Ryan was suppose to have recorded, specifically asking if she and the other two members recorded it without him, to which she replied she didn’t remember (I’m inclined to say they didn’t, just for logical reasons).

Perhaps the most important question was the second one, in which case I asked why she took down the music (as Hermione and the Know-It-Alls did have songs up, but as evident by their MySpace page, no songs are to be seen). As it turns out, and this is interesting, she did not take the music down. “Honestly, I think MySpace took them down? Went on the page a few years ago and they weren’t there.” Now, like I said, I find this interesting. I was unaware that music could be taken off artists pages (does this explain why some defunct wizard rock artists on MySpace who had music, as described in their comments section, no longer have any songs up?), and am in fact still questioning what happened. I believe her in saying that she didn’t take the music down herself, but as to whether or not another former member did it or it actually was MySpace is above my level of current knowledge. If there are any MySpace Terms of Use buffs reading this, perhaps you could help me out: If an artists page is defunct for over three years, and there has been no activity on the profile, such as comments sent their way can the music on that page be removed? I’m actually deeply interested in this, so any help or information would be deeply appreciated.

Following that question, I asked for confirmation in the assumption that the audio files were long gone, to which she replied “yeah, unfortunately.” This sort of saddens me, because though she may not feel deeply attached to her old music, it is a sign of a younger, more innocent time, and I’m sure if she ran into it somewhere, it might bring back a smile or two. So, without making this some kind of treasure hunt, if anyone does have any of the songs Hermione and the Know-It-Alls did (perhaps through some not-so-legal process of downloading or recording it), it would be greatly appreciated if you could inform me.

From this specific post on the comments page of Hermione and the Know-It-Alls profile written by The Gryffindor Common Room Rejects – “Hey guys! It’s Amber (the brown haired one haha). Well, for the show, since you guys only have two songs out, try to get some more out, too okay? GCR.Squared only had two, but we have lryics for like three more. So try to get some more songs out before the show (you have months to do it though) :D” – I concluded that Hermione and the Know-It-Alls had a show scheduled. When asked about whether or not they went through with the show, Sienna seemed slightly confused, stating “uh, no, we were all like 14 years old or something,” which means most likely they never did (as performing a concert would be an event easily remembered). What probably happened, and I of course can’t speak for them, but it seems most likely, is that she and a member of The Gryffindor Common Room Rejects began speaking, and planned a show out (both bands are from Florida, so linguistically it makes sense), but potential possibilities include Hermione and the Know-It-Alls didn’t have enough songs written, they couldn’t get to the venue of the show, or maybe the show was just overall canceled. For all I know, maybe a member of the Gryffindor Common Room Rejects fell ill prior to the show, and couldn’t make it. Regardless, as Sienna said, Hermione and the Know-It-Alls performed no live show.

For my last question, I went all nostalgic on her: “Lastly, do you regret that band, or do you sort of look back upon that time fondly?” (It’s hard to be truly nostalgic when you’re limited to 144 characters). Sienna replied, as I expected she would, “i look back at it fondly with a hearty chuckle and a shake of the head.” I then cordially thanked her for the interview, spammed this blog (well, she asked for the link, but it comes to the same result), and let her be on her way.

 

I am currently involved in two wizard rock projects (both on hiatus, but still involved), and in five years, if someone runs across them and located me and begins asking questions, I don’t know how I’d reply. I have never made my involvement in these projects widely known (I can’t think of one friend of mine who knows), so I may be embarrassed about it being brought up, or shocked by the fact that I was ‘found out.’ Sienna was extremely kind in letting me ask her these questions, and I again thank her for that. I don’t know how I’d respond to the same situation, but Sienna was courteous and kind, and a pleasure to interview (which, to be honest, isn’t difficult to say as I’ve never interviewed someone before). Though the interview didn’t cover as many questions as I would have preferred to ask, I hope any readers can tell that I did stick to what I considered the most crucial points. For a small interview conducted via twitter, it went well, so I’m happy for that.

I’ll most likely have my next band-information blog up sometime this weekend, so be on the lookout for that.

I hope this finds any reader well,

Michael

Wizard Rock Band #12, 13, 14, & 15: Hannah is a Horcrux, Hermione and the Know-It-Alls, The Hogwarts Ghosts, and hufflepuff heros

It’s been over a month, but I’m still going. Aside from college, I have other responsibilities, so as I keep saying, I can’t work on this as much as I’d like to. Tonight, I have four more bands to discuss, representing the letter “H.” Without further delay, let us begin.

Hannah is a Horcrux (which is a name I quite like) formed in 2007, joining MySpace mid-August. A solo project, she hails from the United Kingdom, which, as I said in one of my last posts, has far too few wizard rock bands. She alludes to this in her biography, pleasantly enough. Aside from that, not too much, information-wise, is on her page, but luckily there doesn’t need to be, as she has four songs up.

The four songs up are “Run Remus Run”, “My Mum Loves Snape”, “By Umbridge”, and “Predicting My Doom DEMO.” I’m already acquainted with one of them, but the rest I haven’t heard. Hopefully they’ll be along the same lines as the one I know.

First up is “Run Remus Run”, which is 3:26, and starts out with nice guitar-work, which persists throughout the song. The quality is fair for the most part, but even so, I’m having a slight problem understanding the vocals, so I can’t quite say what the lyrical themes of this song is. It’s probably more my issues than it is the songs (sometimes my hearing’s sketchy). Upon the second listen, however, I understand the first line, which is about how Remus goes to school but is locked up in the Shrieking Shack every month, and how he has to keep up the facade (and not tell his friends) despite believing his friends to know. It’s not a particularly emotional song, but instrumentally it’s solid. What stands out most is the guitar work. Listen to it for that.

“My Mum Loves Snape” (the shortest song, at 2:22) is about how everyone (characters in the book) have their own significant other (Lily and James, Ron and Hermione, Bill and Fleur, etc.), and how the singer’s mother loves Snape over the other characters. It’s shorter, and not exactly important canonical-wise (as the singer’s singing from the point of view of a non-character), but despite that it’s a catchy song (and again with good guitar work). One line stands out to me, that being “Even when I had my doubts, she [singer’s mother] still had faith, My mum, my mum loves Snape.” I remember seeing buttons about people’s trust in Snape during the craze the movies brought along with them (I forget if I trusted Snape the whole way through or not, but I doubt I did). Good song, I recommend it.

“By Umbridge” is a song I already knew, and at 4:25, it’s slightly longer than your typical wizard rock song. I quite like it, as it’s through the point of view (sort of) of Umbridge. The chorus (“I’m an evil witch – Hogwart’s biggest bitch, don’t breathe near me or I’ll give you detention.”) is catchy, and the song overall, while slightly repetitive, is a very good one, portraying Umbridge’s tyrannical rule over Hogwarts (without being too downbeat). I actually have this song on my iTunes (via means which may or may not be completely legal), but I just now noticed I don’t have any plays by them yet (meaning I haven’t scrobbled the song – if you don’t understand, it’s okay, as it’s last.fm terminology). Speaking of which, Hannah is a Horcrux does have a last.fm page (which I created, as all the similar artists are bands I listen to), but there are only two listeners, and zero plays, which means basically she has nothing (which I intend on changing once I listen to this song more). Back to the point, we have one last song to discuss, that being the demo.

The demo of “Predicting My Doom” starts out great, with the line “If you were born in July, Saturn says you’re going to die if you’re skinny and you’re short and you wear glasses.” Afterwards, the guitar picks up, and so starts this catchy tune. The lyrics are catchy, and as the song is about the ridiculousness of divination class and how Harry and Ron completed their diaries, the lyrics are good also. I think it has to be pointed out that this girl has a really good voice, and that’s part of why her songs, even this demo (which I don’t know why it’s a demo – seems complete to me), are good listening material.

Hannah is a Horcrux is a good band. Her MySpace page almost has 1,700 views, which seems like quite a bit, but she only has 307 total plays (granted, I don’t know how reliable MySpace play counters are), so that needs to increase, no matter if she’s active or not. And to answer that question, sadly she’s not – she’s not been seen since July 2011, so it’s doubtful she’ll return to make more music (which is a shame, as she could have at least had a nice EP on her hands should she have chosen to make one). I highly recommend this artist, and I hope those of you who haven’t heard of her enjoys her music, because I know I do.

 

Hermione and the Know-It-Alls is a tragic story. I say that because this band looks as though they were active (communicating with other wizard rock artists, writing their MySpace blog, learning instruments, and writing music) for a time, but it’s as if they wiped their MySpace profile clean – there’s no songs on it. Also, looks like they had some membership problems. I’ll fit what pieces I can together and come up with a history.

Three girls formed this band in Florida (whose pictures are on the page, but their names aren’t listed, though one of them is Sienna, and another goes by the moniker of Genesis. The other may be Klanci). I get these names from conversations Sienna had in the comment section of the band’s first blog (Sienna wrote the blogs, so may be the ‘main’ member of the group). Anyhow, they recorded at least two songs, one of them called “Ron’s Kinda Cute”, and the other, I don’t know. Based on two comments in the comment section, one of their songs had the lyrics “Put your Basilisk in my Chamber of secrets,” which even I admit is a pretty amusing allusion. Regardless, a fourth member was going to join, his name Ryan, but due to some drama, I doubt he ever did.

Ryan, from what I understand reading comments from five years ago, was given the task to record a song as a “audition piece,” but due to his laziness (I can only guess), it never got done, leading to the heated comment, “so you’re not in the band/because you didn’t make the song/it’s been a week, btw” written by Sienna (the / denote a line shift, i.e. this message was left in three lines – the grammar has not been altered). More so, a few days after that, she left another comment which read “???? song”. From this, I deduce that Ryan promised to record this song, but couldn’t keep his promise, hence the other members becoming frustrated (which I understand). I’ll link the guy’s MySpace page to this blog so you can read the conversation for yourself (I usually won’t link personal, non-musical profiles, but for God’s sake it’s MySpace, and he hasn’t logged in for four years). Anyhow, more interestingly, it appears that Sienna wrote lyrics for the song Ryan had to sing, and posted them in his comments section. The lyrics were:

“i really don’t like your cat,
hermione,
it’s just that
he tried to eat scabbers
last week

even though my rat was
peter pettigrew
that doesn’t make him
the thing for your cat to chew

please get rid of crookshanks
or i won’t speak to you
please just send him away
or you and i are through

that ruddy cat may be part kneazle
but he still tried to eat my rat
he could have went after malfoy
when he was a weasel
but no
your cat tried to eat my rat

please get rid of crookshanks
or i won’t speak to you
please just send him away
or you and i are through

please get rid of crookshanks
or i won’t speak to you
please just send him away
or you and i are through”

It’s a simple style, but there’s some unique rhyme structure hidden in there. Whether or not the girls recorded the song without Ryan is unknown, but I do feel bad for the band, as Ryan appeared to have an easy job (he didn’t even have to write, he just had to record). I doubt this strife is why the band broke up, but you never know.

Also worth noting, apparently Hermione and the Know-It-Alls had a show planned with the Gryffindor Common Room Rejects, and it’s from the exchange between the two bands that I know this band only had two songs up. Whether they ever did this show is also sadly unknown, though I do know they had merchandise for sale, as is evident by a link I’ll list down below. 

Sienna went to the University of Central Florida, according to her MySpace page, and began 2009 (two years after the band fell apart, I’d wager), meaning, if she’s still there, she’d be in her final year of college, so as corny as this sounds, I wish her well. Klanci’s page can only be viewed by her friends, and I can’t find Genesis’s page (most likely because Genesis is not her real name), so I can’t state how they’re doing, but I hope everything is well. It’s a shame that the music has been deleted from their MySpace, as I would have been rather eager to hear it. As these girls found out, however, I guess some things weren’t meant to be. (Quick update: I located Sienna’s twitter page, but instead of being all stalker-ish and asking about the history of a five-year old band, I’ll let her be. She appears to be happy, and studying French, so all is well).

 

The Hogwarts Ghosts have almost nothing on their MySpace page: No biography, no picture, no description, no comments, no blogs, and only 12 friends (which is extremely low for a band). They/he (who knows if there was more than one person involved in this artist?) were around for only three months, being August through October, 2007. He does, however, have one song on the page, and I can discuss that quickly.

“The Story of the Baron” is 1 minute and 57 seconds of hip-ness. It’s not so much a song as it is a spoken poem (a la Mark Grist or Taalam Acey) about the origins of the Bloody Baron. What’s surprising, though, is, given the complete lack of information on this artist, the song is pretty good. It has an echo effect in it, giving the song an almost, dare I say, haunting quality. As he’s not singing, the echo makes for a really cool sound. A bit on the short side, but as we don’t know all that much about the Bloody Baron (though the seventh book did shine quite a bit of light on that situation), I think it works fine. As this song is the only thing I have of this band, I’d recommend listening to it, but there’s not much more to say, so I’ll move on to the final artist.

 

hufflepuff heros (yes, the name’s in lower-case, and “heroes” is misspelled) formed June 2007, and have only one song to talk about, but it’s one dozy of a song, so let’s get started.

Titled “harrys song”, this 1:36 song is through Harry’s point of view, and how he wants to, and I quote, “fuck Ginny Weasley.” There are a few things of interest to note: firstly, most wizard rock bands don’t use vulgar language (I personally don’t have a problem if wrock bands do, but that’s beside the point), and this is pointed out in the comments section of the band’s profile page by The Remus Lupins (can’t believe a wrock band that successful interacts with the bands of lower renown – one of the reasons I love wizard rock, it’s one big community), who state “for hufflepuffs, thats really strong language.” I can say from this, due to the lack of a joking tone (such as adding a smiley, etc.), that The Remus Lupins don’t look kindly upon the use of swear words in “harrys song.” Another interesting thing, though, is that the guy singing is a pretty good guitar player. Sure, the riff is simple, but he still made an effort to use instruments in a wizard rock band, which is better than a band just going a Capella due to laziness. The song itself isn’t terribly impressive, but I think it is quite unique when it comes to wizard rock.

The guy’s voice sounds like a high schooler or older, which is why their one blog confuses me. The name of the blog is “harry potter band”, and the content simply states “tell us what you think! do you like us or not? also check out our top friends bands too we think you’ll like them also!!!” I can sometimes be harsh when it comes to grammar and spelling (because it’s part of my semi-OCD personality), and I will be here. It looks like it was written by someone no older than ten, in all honesty, though at least it might give some more details about the band (notice the use of “us” and not “me” in the content). 

I’m unsure if anyone stated that didn’t like hufflepuff heros, but I do know they last logged in on February 12th, 2008, and they never recorded another song, so we don’t have much to go on when it comes to this artist. 

So, while none of these four artists is necessarily important (no albums released from any of them), there are some gems hidden in here, mainly Hannah is a Horcrux, though check out the poem by The Hogwarts Ghosts also if you have the chance. I hope to be able to write more often then I have been (maybe I can do one a weekend), but until next time, yours truly.

(If you can find anything else about these bands, most specifically music-wise, don’t be afraid to comment).

Links:

Hannah is a Horcrux MySpace page – http://www.myspace.com/hannahisahorcrux

Hannah is a Horcrux last.fm page – http://www.last.fm/music/Hannah+is+a+Horcrux

Hermione and the Know-It-Alls MySpace page – http://www.myspace.com/hermioneandtheknowitalls

Ryan (failed member) MySpace page – http://www.myspace.com/emo_ryan_est_tres_cool

Hermione and the Know-It-Alls buttons – http://www.cafepress.com/+hermione_and_the_knowitalls_button_singular,155796159

The Hogwarts Ghosts MySpace page – http://www.myspace.com/thehogwartsghosts

hufflepuff heros MySpace page – http://www.myspace.com/hufflepuffheros

Wizard Rock Band #11: Gadding with Ghouls

If there’s one thing I like more than wizard rock as a genre of whole, it’s how the genre is nowhere near as dead as some people might believe. There are still new artists popping up even years after the book series and movies have stopped.  What I love more than that is when these artists call attention to themselves instead of letting people run into them. When the artist Gadding with Ghouls made me aware of their music, I was extremely happy, and I’m happy now to be able to discuss their music with all who reads this, because while bands like Harry and the Potters or Ministry of Magic may be the most well-known artists, it’s these newer bands that will really ensure that the genre of wizard rock does not die, and it’s to these new artists (whether I like the particular music or not) where I lay my alliance. Without further ado, let’s discuss Gadding with Ghouls.

Named from one of the ‘autobiographies’ written by Lockhart, Gadding with Ghouls formed in 2012 in England (which, for some reason or another, is not as populated by wrock artists as the USA is), and have released one album (which is already so much more than so many other wizard rock artists have done). It is comprised of “one girl and her trusty synthesizer,” as stated on her soundcloud profile (her name being Kim Finn).

Gadding with Ghouls self-state that they cover many genres, including rock ballads, dance, country, and jazz (though most of the songs sound pretty similar to me), and their (indeed, while it is a solo project, I’ll use ‘they’ and ‘their’ just to make life easier) 14-track album Dare to Gad (which can be purchased through various ways, all of which will be listed beneath). One thing that can be said about all of the songs with certainty, though, is that the vocals used are always similar-sounding to each other. It’s not that I expect her to be able to shift her voice, but I only hear the same emotional range in every song (which I can’t make too big of a deal about, as I have the exact same problem in my two musical projects). The first album, Dare to Gad, as aforementioned, has 14 tracks, and those songs are (with times):

1. Azkaban Lament (1:47)

2. The Office of Tom Riddle (2:34)

3. War Is Coming (2:21)

4. One More (2:52)

5. All I Know (1:54)

6. Winner Takes All (3:02)

7. Summer Wish (2:28)

8. Friends Like These (2:50)

9. Back in the Day (2:43)

10. The First Task (2:04)

11. Oh Luna (1:43)

12. House Elf Fashion Fix (1:31)

13. Delores Delores (2:07)

14. Voldygroove (Shake Your) (2:12)

Adding up the times, this is 14 songs in 32 minutes and 8 seconds (which is the type of information that interests me). Now, because of the wonderful soundcloud site, one doesn’t need to purchase/download the CD for money as all songs can be listened to in full for free (not that I would have a problem buying the CD, but I don’t have the money at all to do so – so many wizard rock CDs I want, even after years, have been no closer to being obtained by me). I’ll go through each song, but after listening to the album in whole, I want to say something overall about it: the first few songs did not wow me, but as I continued, I found some real gems in here, and I feel, overall, the middle of the album is better than the beginning and ending. Let me put some facts behind this, though, as I go through the 14 songs on the album (courtesy of Gadding with Ghoul’s soundcloud profile).

The opener of the album is “Azkaban Lament,” a song about the reformed Lucius Malfoy (following his stint in Azkaban). It’s just under two minutes, but I feel that it is both too short and too vague to make an impact for me. The lyrics aren’t bad by any means (and I rather enjoy some of the rhyme schemes), but I find the song as a whole and as an opener to an album average. There is a lyric video to this song on YouTube, which will be linked below. The second track is “The Office of Tom Riddle,” which also has a lyric video on YouTube. The song is about new Death Eaters (or applicants) who are just about to meet Voldemort. One of the lines is golden, that being “If Mr. Riddle takes a shine to you/You’ll find the gift of a new tattoo.” Despite that, I think the tune of the song is a bit annoying. Regardless, I like the song, but it lacks the something that makes me love it. Also, on a sort of amusing note, the beginning to the song (the first few seconds) reminds me of the beginning of “Pork and Beans” by Weezer, which, while random, is something I thought worth noting.

“War is Coming” is the third song, and while it’s decent, I sense a potential that wasn’t delivered. The lyrics are decently simple, and it’s not as epic as a song as the title might suggest (or did to me, anyways). So, like the other songs, okay, but nothing amazing. Though the next song, “One More,” is not also amazing, I find it more enjoyable than the first three songs. The track is quite catchy, and I find it a good song. No particular lyric stands out as being better than any other, but I quite enjoy this song. Also, it’s worth mentioning that I feel this is where the CD picks up a little bit in terms of enjoyableness.

“All I Know” is a little slower than the other songs, and more peaceful, but disturbingly, the song reminds me of the “Hamster Love” by Big Daddy (a song I would link to, but I can’t find one of good quality – I know it from the Dr. Demento’s 30th Anniversary compilation album). The song’s not bad, but like most of the other songs I’ve discussed up to this point, it doesn’t really stand out to me. This changes, though, with the sixth song, “Winner Takes All.” In short, I love this song. It’s about Snape’s feelings for Lily, which is a common topic, but what makes this a winner is the lyrics (speaking of which, there is a lyric video for this song too). Also, the chorus has a very epic-feeling to it. “The magic in you found the magic in me” line is great, and when it’s flipped to describe how Lily fell for James (and not Severus), it’s a wonderful moment lyric-wise. Also, the “from dark to light” shifting to “light to dark” is very wisely written too. This song is a winner (ironic, considering the title), and if there’s one song I would buy, it’d be this one (though I’d need someone to lend me 99 cents).

The opening beat (before the lyrics and synthesizer kick in) of “Summer Wish” is reminiscent of “(Your Love Keeps Lifting Me) Higher and Higher” by Rita Coolidge. Because of that, it’s slightly more catchy than I would usually find it, but even so, compared to the last track, it’s nothing spectacular. The lackluster doesn’t keep up, however, as “Friends Like These” is a great song. Not too much more can be said about it, but as it’s through the point of view of Remus (in the first verse) and Harry (in the second verse) describing their friends, one should be able to tell that it will be a sweet song, and I find that it is.

“Back in the Day” is another great song. It’s about life after the Battle of Hogwarts (as told in Book Seven), and reminds me of one of my favorite songs, “Now That He Is Gone” by Prefect Project. Unlike “Now That He Is Gone,” though, this song doesn’t look to Harry’s future, but has him considering his past activities ‘back in the day.’ It really is a nice track. This song is upbeat and catchy (as Voldemort was just defeated, I would hope they’d be upbeat), and is another recommend track by me. “The First Task” is a little more ‘metally’, and while I don’t love it, I do find it a pretty good song.

“Oh Luna” is much like “The First Task” in the way I don’t find it amazing, but it is passable and I don’t dislike it. In fact, by now, I think I know my problem with some of the songs, which will be explained in depth following my reviews of each song. On a happy note, the tenth song “Happy Elf Fashion Fix” is a very catchy and electronic-sounding song. It’s the shortest song on the CD, but it’s always one of the catchiest, and the lyrical themes are amusing.

The following song, “Delores Delores” uses naughty words to describe Umbridge (and by naughty, I mean the mild word ‘ass’), and the song is rather catchy. Actually, and I don’t know why, it’s probably my second or third favorite song on the album, so it’s definitely worth listening to. Finally, the last song is the rather fun “Voldygroove (Shake Your),” which also has a lyric video for everyone to check out. It allows the CD to end on a good note, as the song is catchy.

The problems I have with song of the songs is the synthesizer, I believe. Normally, it wouldn’t bother me, but when it’s coupled with the vocals, some of the songs sort of burrow into my head (and not in the positive way). I’d personally be interested to hear what Gadding with Ghouls sounds like acoustically for a song or two. With that said, I’d defiantly purchase this CD if possible, because the positives outdo the negatives.

However, that’s not all the songs that Gadding with Ghouls has done. If you have no money but still want you some GwG, “Magic’s Here (For Christmas Day)” is a track that can be found on soundcloud that can be downloaded for free. It’s another rather catchy song about Christmas (think along the lines of “Christmas at Hogwarts” by Hungry Hungry Hippogriffs), and was worth the time downloading it.

New wizard rock is a treasure to listen to, even if you don’t like every single song (and you’d be hard-pressed to find a wrock artist which only has songs I like), and I believe Dare to Gad is a slightly-above average CD that is worth checking out (or at least listening to on soundcloud). Also, Gadding with Ghouls has a last.fm page, which has three listeners (one of them me, and I’m sure that another one is the artist herself), so if more people download the free track, this wrock artist will get a little more attention. I’m happy that Kim let me know of her existence, because I had a blast listening to her music. I hope she continues making wizard rock into the future, and if she ever has a sophomore album, I’d be happy to say some words about it.

On another quick note, this is the first artist I’ve reviewed whose had a CD out (not counting any compilation albums other artists, such as Dolores and the Umbradges, have appeared on), so this is generally what the reviews will look like for the CDs (insofar as much as how it will appear, as I may not be able to fully listen to every song on every single wizard rock CD).

I hope this finds any readers well, and on one last note, if there are any new wizard rock bands who maybe have just done one song or posted one video on YouTube, let me know, because I’m keeping a growing list of every wizard rock artist, and I don’t want to be missing any new additions.

-Michael

Links:

Gadding with Ghouls tumblr – http://gwgwrock.tumblr.com/

Dare to Gad on CDBaby for $9.99 – http://www.cdbaby.com/cd/gaddingwithghouls

Gadding with Ghouls soundcloud – https://soundcloud.com/gwgwrock

“Azkaban Lament” lyric video – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S1Bv1yL7hXk

“The Office of Tom Riddle” lyric video – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4945ojofzJA

“Winner Takes All” lyric video – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qhHgOgFfyMQ

“Voldygroove (Shake Your)” lyric video – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iQQgP8bms14

Gadding with Ghouls last.fm page – http://www.last.fm/music/Gadding+With+Ghouls

Update – Giddiness and Business

As I write these band profiles, I’m also always seeking out more wizard rock to add to my growing Wizard Rock playlist on iTunes. Tonight, I’ve found something I’ve been looking for for a long time. Split Seven Ways is a favorite artist of mine, and she had eight CDs/EPs out there, two of which I have owned for a long time. Tonight, just ten minutes ago, I located links to Slytherin Hearts and The Best Days of Our Lives, meaning I now own half of what she has put out. If anyone knows where the other four CD’s (Love is the Answer, It’s Real for Us, Wormwood & Wolfsbane, and Up to No Good) can be downloaded or purchased, please inform me. 

On to business, the next wizard rock band that will be discussed is Gadding with Ghouls. I’m currently listening to all the songs now, and it may be up tonight, but if not, tomorrow most definitely.

Hope Everyone is well

Michael.

Wizard Rock Band #7, 8, 9, & 10: Charlie and the Dragon, Dolores and the Umbradges, The Escapators, and The Foreign Wizard

It’s been a little while, but as I stated in my first post, I have quite a bit going on in life, so I can’t dedicate as much time as I’d like to on this, but I’ll try to write at least one every two weeks. On this post, I’ll be talking about four artists, those being Charlie and the Dragon, Dolores and the Umbradges, The Escapators, and The Foreign Wizard.

Charlie and the Dragon is a duo formed by siblings Jason and Ashleigh who joined MySpace in mid-2009. They have two songs on said MySpace, those being “The Epic Battle” and “Nymphadora.”

“The Epic Battle” (which is just over 2 minutes and 20 seconds) is a song about a hypothetical fight between Harry and Edward Cullen (who I’ve heard came from some bad emo book series I have absolutely no interest in). In the end, they both concede Harry would win (as well they should). Not a bad song, but it doesn’t necessarily stand out to me. It might be too short to make an impact, or maybe I’m just tired of hearing about Twilight. Either way, “Nymphadora” is much better.

While it has a slower pace, “Nymphadora” is a better song (in my opinion) than “The Epic Battle.” The melody of both Jason and Ashleigh singing together is rather good (I wonder how awkward it was to be singing a love song in the point of view of Lupin and Nymphadora when they’re siblings), but more so, the song clocks in at 5:17 seconds, which is pretty lengthy for a wizard rock song. The vocals take a few seconds to adjust to, but it’s easily accomplished  and as such, the song is enjoyable.

I also have some video footage of them covering the song “My Eyes (On the Rise)” from the wonderfully-brilliant Dr. Horrible’s Sing-Along Blog (which is a fantastic 40-minute musical  and if you don’t know it, go watch it – it’s fantastic, plus is has Neil Patrick Harris in it). The link will be listed below, so be sure to check it out. It comes from the profile of the solo wizard rock artist I Speak Tree, and she has a lot of other videos, but I didn’t see any more featuring Charlie and the Dragon.

This artist also has a FaceBook profile (interestingly, they joined both MySpace and Facebook on the same day), but it has precious little information on it, though something interesting does stick out. Charlie and the Dragon have not logged onto their MySpace since January 2010, though two years later, January 2012, they stated they’ve returned from a presumed break to make music, but they haven’t posted since, and no new music is listed, but we never know, and perhaps they will come back and release an EP or something. Either way, we can only hope.

Dolores and the Umbradges (a band made up of, according to their tunecore page, a mother and her daughters) is arguably more well known, mainly because two of their songs feature on the compilation Witches Wrock, which is a CD supporting Breast Cancer research. The project Witches Wrock have a Facebook page as well as Dolores and the Umbradges themselves (though neither one particularly has much information on them). The compilation can be purchased from both iTunes and Amazon (I’d recommend Amazon, because for some reason, it’s 91 cents cheaper, at only $8.99, while it’s $9.90 on iTunes).

They have five songs total to listen to on MySpace, two of them are the songs on the compilation, being “Boots Made for Heroes” and “Snape My Love.” The other three are “Let’s Go to the Ministry”, “Halls of Hogwartz”, and “Umbradge Blues.” Apparently, they had 12 songs written (which were going to make up their first album, titled Think Pink) which they were in the process of recording, but as the CD has never come out, I’m assuming they never got done recording them all. Some songs are listed on a sample track listing (so not every song that they were planning to be on the CD are listed) that weren’t recorded (or uploaded, perhaps) are “The Greatest Headmistress”, “Muggle Scum”, and “James Was a Jerk”, while also listing an alternative name for the song “Halls of Hogwartz”, being “Halls of Hogwarts (Dumbledore’s Army).” On a quick side-note, this band has a last.fm profile (or a space-holder, as they have no artist description as of yet) which states that they have 11 listeners and 21 scrobbles, which, for a band like this, whose been only on one compilation album, is pretty good.

Musically, I’m not a giant fan of the style. The song “Halls of Hogwartz” is just average, “Umbradge Blues” is a parody of some song I forget (the guitar riff is extremely familiar), but I don’t care for the lyrics. “Boots Made for Heroes” isn’t bad until one of the daughters does some background vocals (think the beginning of the Eminem song “My Dad’s Gone Crazy” with Marshall’s daughter’s annoying accent), which deeply annoys me. The mother’s vocals are good, but I never cared at all for children singers (Bieber, Michael Jackson when he was in the Jackson Five – actually, I don’t like Michael Jackson’s newer music either, but that’s aside the point, or any other children singers people can name). “Snape My Love” is bearable, but I can’t say I necessarily like it. Lastly, “Let’s Go to the Ministry” is an instrumental song, which is it’s saving grace. Actually, the best thing about this artist is that all of the songs (indeed, all five of them) are on the shorter-end of the spectrum (the longest one is 2:46), so if one doesn’t like them, they don’t need to hear it for long.

With that said, I try hard not to be negative. I love this genre, and there are song low-quality bands that are fantastic, just as there are song highly promoted bands I don’t care for much (Justin Finch-Fletchley and the Sugar Quills, this is going your way). I respect every artist who puts up a song, even if they are low quality (as I said, I have a band too, and a solo project, and the quality for my music is down-right dreadful), so I don’t want to put them down too badly, I just don’t simply care for the music.

The Escapators (cleverly-named from a quote by Mr. Weasley) are very notable, in my opinion. I don’t know how many people have ran across them, but their one and only song they have ever had up, “My Phoenix Song”, is generally well-like by everyone who hears it. Joining MySpace in 2007 (and last logging in two years later), The Escapators just never reached their full potential. The two members are Jake and Stephanie, though despite what is member claims to do, I don’t hear female vocals in the one song they have up, meaning she was meant to sing some of the others songs that were written.

And that’s interesting, I think: Their first song is well-received, yet they never post up another one, despite posting lyrics to these other songs in their MySpace blog. The other songs are “The Comedian” (a song in commemoration to Fred Weasley), “Ode to Filch” (ironically enough, an ode to Filch), and “Voldemort’s Goin’ Down” (self-explanatory). Lyrically, the songs appear to be simple (and on the shorter side), but they’re not bad per se, just average. Still, they do have one actual song up, and that’s “My Phoenix Song”

“My Phoenix Song” begins in the tune of the all-famous “Save Ginny Weasley” by Harry and the Potters (one of the top-covered and parodied songs in wizard rock fandom), but it loses it’s familiar-tune in the first 50 seconds. The lyrics are a bit hard to understand at first glance (or first hear – I know, I’m quite witty),  but it’s a song of assurance of Harry’s survival in the seventh book (so the opposite of the various wizard rock songs I’ve heard claiming with certainty Harry would meet his death, which I guess he did, but that’s aside from the point). “My Phoenix Song” would be uplifting, I’d guess, if the quality was a little higher, but even so, it’s a good song. I’ve actually known about this song for at least four years, because I remember listening to it and it being on my music playlist on MySpace (and I still have a MySpace – it’s the only good way to listen to wizard rock, plus I have some really great music on my playlists). It’s not on my playlist anymore, but it’s a good song nonetheless.

The Escapators do have a last.fm page, but they have only six songs scrobbled with three listeners, so it was probably “My Phoenix Song” being played by three different people twice. On a musically-unrelated note, it appears that whichever member of the band was updating the MySpace profile had an aversion to the shift button (as to capitalize letters), which can be clearly seen in both the band name and song title, along with their posted lyrics (as all of them are in under case lettering). Now, it’s not important, but I thought it was interesting and wished to point it out.

This last band, The Foreign Wizard, also has but one song up on MySpace, but the band’s unique in several ways. First of all, they’re a bit newer, joining MySpace in 2010. Secondly, while only one song is up on MySpace, he has another one on his YouTube page. Thirdly, this artist is from the United Kingdom (while a majority of wizard rock bands reside in the good ole’ USA) Most importantly, though, is the fact that I don’t know him. I’ve been listening to wizard rock for a good portion of the last ten years of my life (might be a stretch, but it’s my blog), and I haven’t ran into The Foreign Wizard. True, the band name isn’t the greatest, but even if I’ve been avoiding listening to them because of it, I still don’t recall the name, so I have just never ran into this band before, which is interesting.

Based off his MySpace page, he only has 22 friends (and that’s counting that blasted Tom Anderson) and his one song has only been played 12 times (which is sure to go up after today). This is a shame, because the one song he has up, titled “Dementor Winter (Draco’s Tears)”, is pretty good. At 4:17, it’s a bit longer than typical wizard rock, and musically it’s quite enjoyable (plus his British accent is, even to a straight guy such as me, attractive). The beat of the song is slightly repetitive, but I don’t know many songs about Draco’s task to kill Dumbledore (I actually wrote a rap song of the same topic, but I never finished it), and this song is pretty good. Through Draco’s point of view, saying this his life feels as though he’s surrounded by Dementors constantly and comparing himself to the frozen Hogwarts Lake is pretty good imagery. More so, on The Foreign Wizard’s YouTube profile, he has two videos of this song – one live performance in his room, and one video using footage of the movies while the song’s playing. Whether you listen to it via his MySpace or watch one of the two videos, it doesn’t matter, as long as you listen to it, as it really is quite good.

As aforementioned, though, while “Dementor Winter (Draco’s Tears)” is the only song he has on MySpace, he has another song (video located via YouTube profile) titled “Moaning Myrtle.” In the song (which is about, you guessed it, Moaning Myrtle), he mimics the voice of Moaning Myrtle, which is quite amusing to hear. Some of the lyrics are a bit immature for my liking, but some lines amuse me quite a lot. For instance, Myrtle sang about seeing Harry bathe in the Prefects Bathroom, and she sings (well, he sings, but it’s through the point-of-view of Myrtle) “And I’ll tell you a secret, since then I have a rape conviction/But Rowling had to cut it out because of age restrictions.”) All in all, I like it as much as his other song, because it’s more lively (and catchy), but some of the lyrics detract some enjoyment from me. Still, it’s a good song, and it can be listened to via his YouTube profile.

He has not logged onto MySpace since February 2011, and he never did upload the song “Moaning Myrtle” for some reason or another, but The Foreign Wizard’s an enjoyable artist who I’d recommend to anyone reading.

With that, I’ve reached the conclusion of this blog, which is a bit longer, but unlike the other blog with four artists, these artists all had songs which I had to discuss. Any site I mentioned should be listed at the bottom with a link to allow people to double-check anything I’ve written and let them navigate where I’ve been so they can take the same journey.

Hope everyone enjoyed reading, and I hope this finds everyone well

Links:

Charlie and the Dragon MySpace page – http://www.myspace.com/charlieandthedragon

“My Eyes (On the Rise)” cover – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dekXeO-5SpY

Charlie and the Dragon Facebook page – http://www.facebook.com/pages/Charlie-and-the-Dragon/102069202560

Tunecore artist profile for Doleres and the Umbradges – http://www.tunecore.com/music/doloresandtheumbradges

Witches Rock Facebook – http://www.facebook.com/pages/Witches-Rock/27336871539

Dolores and the Umbradges Facebook – http://www.facebook.com/pages/Dolores-and-the-Umbradges/23053067547

Witches Wrock on iTunes – https://itunes.apple.com/us/album/witches-wrock/id293296441

Witches Wrock on Amazon – http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B001HU18EO/ref=sr_1_album_2_rd?ie=UTF8&child=B001HU31RQ&qid=1354426946&sr=1-2

Dolores and the Umbradges MySpace – http://www.myspace.com/doloresandtheumbradges

Dolores and the Umbradges last.fm – http://www.last.fm/music/Dolores+and+the+Umbradges

The Escapators MySpace – http://www.myspace.com/theescapators

The Escapators last.fm – http://www.last.fm/music/The+Escapators

The Foreign Wizard MySpace – http://www.myspace.com/theforeignwizard

The Foreign Wizard YouTube profile – http://www.youtube.com/user/featherfoil/videos?flow=grid&view=0