Harry and the Potters


Harry and the Potters

Infobox musical artist
Name = Harry and the Potters


Img_capt = "From left to right": Joe DeGeorge and Paul DeGeorge during a performance at Horace Mann School in Riverdale, Bronx, New York, on 25 January 2007.
Landscape = yes
Background = group_or_band
Alias =
Origin = Norwood, Massachusetts
Genre = Wizard rock
Indie rock
Years_active = 2002 — present
URL = http://www.eskimolabs.com/hp/
Current_members = Joe DeGeorge
Paul DeGeorge
Ernie Kim
Past_members = Andrew MacLeay

Harry and the Potters are an indie rock band and pioneers of wizard rock formed in Norwood, Massachusetts in 2002 by brothers Joe and Paul DeGeorge.cite news
last = Davies
first = Shaun
coauthors =
title = The unexpected wizards of rock and roll
work =
pages =
language = English
publisher = MSN
date = 2007-07-20
url = http://news.ninemsn.com.au/article.aspx?id=279730
accessdate = 2007-07-31
] cite news
last = Loftus
first = Meghan
coauthors =
title = Wizard Rock
work =
pages =
language = English
publisher = The Post-Standard (Syracuse, NY)
date =
url = http://www.syracuse.com/articles/cny/index.ssf?/base/living-3/118492494174900.xml&coll=1
accessdate = 2007-08-06
] The band was inspired by the J.K. Rowling book series "Harry Potter".cite web |url=http://wizardrock.org/bands/harry-and-the-potters |title=Harry and the Potters |accessdate=2007-07-19 |accessmonthday= |accessdaymonth= |accessyear= |author= |last= |first= |authorlink= |coauthors= |date= |year= |month= |format= |work= |publisher=Wizard Rock.org |pages= |language= |doi= |archiveurl= |archivedate= |quote= ] Harry and the Potters music is simple unpolished indie rock with the "Harry Potter" books inspiring the lyrics, usually from the point of view of the fictional protagonist, Harry Potter.

After Harry and the Potters founded the wizard rock genre, many similar bands that also took on the persona, or dressed as a Harry Potter-themed character — began to appear at Harry Potter fan conventions. The band prefers to play in libraries. Though most fans of the music are previous fans of Harry Potter, some bands have attracted listeners outside of the Harry Potter fanbase. Harry and the Potters and wizard rock, in general, have grown into an international phenomenon.

Since the band's formation in 2002, they have released three full-length studio albums, three extended play, one compilation album and appeared in a further three compilation albums. The "Boston Phoenix" has called Harry and the Potters the "Pink Floyd of Potterdom."cite news |first=Sharon |last=Steel |authorlink= |author= |coauthors= |title=Voldemort Can’t Stop The Rock |url=http://thephoenix.com/Article.aspx?id=43962&page=1 |format= |work= |publisher=The Phoenix (Boston, MA |id= |pages= |page= |date=2007-07-24 |accessdate=2007-08-06 |language= |quote= ]

History

Formation (2002)

The earliest Harry Potter-themed song is conventionally traced to 2000 when the Los Angeles based pop-punk band Switchblade Kittens released an "Ode to Harry" from the perspective of Ginny Weasley.cite news |first=Joshua |last= Zumbrun|authorlink= |author= |coauthors= Sonya Geis |title=Wizard Rock Has Fans in Hogwarts Heaven With an Assist From MySpace, Bands Ride Harry Potter Mania Into the Spotlight |url=http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/07/06/AR2007070600500.html |format=newspaper |work= |publisher=The Washington Post |id= |pages= |page= |date=2007 July 08 |accessdate=2007-08-06 |language= |quote= ] Harry and the Potters originated the Harry Potter-themed band which became the genesis of a fandom centered genre of music called wizard rock.

The origins were quite accidental. In Cambridge, MA, Paul DeGeorge (born birth date and age|df=yes|1979|6|10)cite web |url=http://wizardrock.org/category/birthdays |title=Archive for the 'Birthdays' |accessdate=2007-07-19 |accessmonthday= |accessdaymonth= |accessyear= |author= |last= |first= |authorlink= |coauthors= |date= |year= |month= |format= |work= |publisher=Wizard Rock.org |pages= |language= |doi= |archiveurl= |archivedate= |quote= ] was developing vaccines for a biotech firm as a chemical engineer.cite news|url=http://www.boston.com/news/local/articles/2004/09/16/sibling_musicians_bring_out_the_punk_in_harry_potter/|last=Sweeney|first=Emily|title=Sibling musicians bring out the 'punk' in Harry Potter|date=2004-09-16|accessdate=2007-01-26|publisher=The Boston Globe] Paul had recently graduated from Tufts University.cite news |first= Moeller |last= Sean |authorlink= |author= |coauthors= |title= Harry and the Potters: Promoters of Dental Hygiene And The Wizards Who Share Their Spinal Tap Moments With Dewey Decimal |url= http://www.daytrotter.com/article/86/harry-and-the-potters-promoters-of-dental-hygiene-and-the-wizards-who-share-their-spinal-tap-moments-with-dewey-decimal |format=online music magazine |work= |publisher= Daytrotter.com |id= |pages= |page= |date=2006-05-28 |accessdate=2007-09-04 |language= |quote= ] Outside the lab, Paul was a musician whose indie band — The Secrets — had toured in the northeast from 2001 to 2002. [cite web |url=http://www.papercities.org/thesecrets/fiction.html |title=The Secrets |accessdate=2007-08-06 |accessmonthday= |accessdaymonth= |accessyear= |author= |last= |first= |authorlink= |coauthors= |date= |year= |month= |format= |work= |publisher= |pages= |language= |doi= |archiveurl= |archivedate= |quote= ] To promote his band, Paul co-founded a small indie label called Eskimo Laboratories. One of the other bands in Eskimo’s stable of talent included a juvenile act called Ed in the Refrigerators, which was fronted by Paul's 14-year-old brother Joe.cite news |first=Mike |last=Miliard |authorlink= |author= |coauthors= |title= Potterific! Harry rocks out|url=http://72.166.46.24//boston/music/other_stories/documents/03042096.asp |format=newspaper |work= |publisher=The Boston Phoenix |id= |pages= |page= |date=2003 July 25 to August 1|accessdate=2007-08-06 |language= |quote= ] Joe DeGeorge (born birth date and age|df=yes|1987|7|4) was a student at Norwood High School. He and his school friend Andrew MacLeay had been playing in rock bands together since they were 11 and 12 years old. [cite web |url=http://www.edintherefridgerators.com/ |title=Ed in the Refridgerators.|accessdate= 2007-08-06|accessmonthday= |accessdaymonth= |accessyear= |author= |last= |first= |authorlink= |coauthors= |date= |year= |month= |format= |work= |publisher= |pages= |language= |doi= |archiveurl= |archivedate= |quote= ]

A couple of years earlier after reading the Harry Potter books, Paul formulated the premise for Harry and the Potters where the principle Harry Potter characters would be the musicians: Harry as the front man, Ron on guitar, Hermione on bass and Hagrid on drums. Then a crisis of sorts struck the brothers on 22 June 2002. During a barbecue at the DeGeorge family’s Norwood Massachusetts home, Joe had advertised a concert with Ed and the Refrigerators and several other indie bands. The venue was the back yard shed. Perhaps the venue was too modest but while an audience had arrived, the bands did not.cite news|url=http://www.philly.com/mld/dailynews/16112250.htm|title=Yule Ball rolls into Philly|last=Brady|first=Shaun|publisher=The Philadelphia Daily News|date=2006-11-28|accessdate=2007-02-27] cite news|url=http://abcnews.go.com/Business/FunMoney/Story?id=3371717&page=1|title=Harry Potter 'Wrockers' Conjure Musical Magic|date=2007-07-13|accessdate=2007-07-31|publisher=ABC News|last=Humphries|first=Rachel] To rescue a nearly lost opportunity, while waiting hopefully for a band to show, Harry and the Potters came into existence over the next hour when the two brothers wrote seven Potter-themed songs. They performed that first concert as Harry and the Potters for six people who remained of their audience. Of those seven backyard songs, six were to make it onto the band's first album in 2003.

While Harry and the Potters would become notable for making libraries their primary venue, after the backyard debut concert, Joe DeGeorge did not see a future in the modest venues, "I think we thought we'd play a few libraries." Paul added, "We thought it would be short-lived. We weren't like super fans, so we didn't understand this whole (Harry Potter) subculture when we started."

The DeGeorge brothers quickly developed an on-stage persona of dressing in the fashion of wizard-school Hogwarts: white shirts under gray crew-neck sweaters, red-and-yellow striped ties, wire-rim glasses. In a show of quirky egalitarianism, both brothers play the role of Harry Potter and dress almost identically. Paul is older and to conform to the character’s persona, he is Harry of Year 7; while Joe is the Harry of Year 4.

Libraries, bookstores and juvenile fans (2003–2004)

The following spring, the group recorded their first album, called "Harry and the Potters", in their parent's living room. Drumming duties for the album were handled by Ernie Kim, a member of Boston math-rockers Tristan da Cunha — another Eskimo's act — who was also a friend of Paul and Joe.

Harry and the Potters released their self-titled debut album in June 2003 and spent that summer performing at libraries. The fifth Harry Potter book - Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix – came out that summer and on 21 June 2003, the highly anticipated day of release, the band played five sets in a span of 24 hours.

The library gigs drew crowds of mostly children and their parents. The brothers played a show at the library in Dorchester, Massachusetts that August where they noticed the children in the audience singing along. Joe said, "Paul forgot the words to one of the songs. [The kids] were like, 'You sang it wrong!'" Paul said, "They'd be like, 'Hey, why'd you skip that song?' because they knew the exact sequence of the album."

A year later, in the spring of 2004, the Barnard Bulletin, a student news magazine of Barnard College, printed one of the earliest reviews of their music. Until then, it had been the stage persona of the band that drew media attention. The student reviewer said that, “The best thing about Harry and the Potters is not how silly the whole concept is or the faithfully accurate retelling of the books but how very bad the band is.”cite news |first= Jessica |last= Plummer |authorlink= |author= |coauthors= |title= music review: harry and the potters |url= http://www.columbia.edu/cu/barnardbulletin/archive/spring04/4-21/4-21music/4-21music.html |format= |work= |publisher= Barnard Bulletin |id= |pages= |page= |date= 2004-04-21|accessdate=2007-09-04 |language= |quote= ] The review was tongue-in-cheek and emphasized the do-it-yourself (DIY) amateurishness as an essential part of the group's "reading, rocking, all ages" vision.cite news |first= Brzozowski |last= Aleksandra |authorlink= |author= |coauthors= |title= Bowling with Bands: Harry and the Potters |url= http://www.streethawkmagazine.com/wpf/?p=36 |format= |work= |publisher= Streethawk |id= |pages= |page= |date=2007-07-18|accessdate=2007-08-30|language= |quote= ]

The summer of 2004 saw the band take its first extended tour out of Massachusetts. The two brothers drove 13,000 miles across the U.S and into Canada in their "Potter Mobile", a silver 1998 Ford Windstar minivan with a black lightning bolt emblazoned on its hood. In live concerts, Paul and Joe used pre-recorded backing tracks for much of the tour, but during the second half, Joe called on his childhood friend and former bandmate Andrew MacLeay to join the band temporarily as drummer.

Asked why they toured almost exclusively libraries, Paul said:

Playing in libraries is great. There’s zero pretension when you play at a library. There’s no dress code and there are no expectations, so it can also be really liberating for a lot of people. Some of the craziest shows we’ve played have been in libraries. We played a show in this small children’s theater at the Dallas Public Library. It has this awesome, tiny stage and was sort of built like a little night club even. Well, it was in a small room right in the middle of the library and about 200 people showed up on a Saturday afternoon and they were all ready to party. We turned that children’s room into a rock club.

Overseas tour (2005)

The following winter, the band began their first overseas tour. In February 2005, they toured the UK - playing London, Manchester, Milton Keynes, Chester, and Liverpool – and then followed it by playing some gigs in the Netherlands to coincide with the release of the Dutch translation of Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince which took place in November 2005.cite web |url= http://www.daytrotter.com/article/87/free-songs-harry-and-the-potters|title= Daytrotter - Free Songs: Harry and the Potters] In the Netherlands, they played one of their earliest songs, "Platform Nine and 3/4" in Dutch.

In late 2005, Harry and the Potters enjoyed more tongue-in-cheek critical success from respectable quarters. The web based music ’zine Pitchfork Media even hailed Harry and the Potters as having one of the best five live shows in 2005, quipping that "The Decemberists wish they could lit-rock like this." Dave Maher, a writer for Pitchfork Media, said:quote|Harry and the Potters fit in with how I imagine the origins of a band like They Might Be Giants, i.e., a couple of dudes writing songs based on nerdy things like the books they like and wizards and monsters and general good vs. evil situations. But, in a way, Harry and the Potters have an edge on the rest of the indie-music world, because they actually have a concept instead of being just another group of boys with guitars and nice haircuts and no direction.

In the fall of 2005, Joe entered Clark University in Worcester, Massachusetts and is currently, as of 2007, a student.

Harry Potter fandom and fan conventions (2006–2007)

The previous year was the watershed when a joke between two colorblind, Massachusetts-born brothers had developed into something they had never imagined.cite news |first=Collin |last=Veenstra |authorlink= |author= |coauthors= |title= Harry and the Potters, community Benefits House |url= http://www.boiseweekly.com/gyrobase/Content?Oid=oid%3A293013 |format= |work= |publisher=Boise Weekly |id= |pages= |page= |date=2007-08-22 |accessdate= 2007-09-04|language= |quote= ] The band continued its odd success and toured early in the year with toured with a New Wave 'sock puppet rock band' called Uncle Monsterface who opened for in March 2006.*cite news |first=Scott C. |last=Smith |authorlink= |author= |coauthors= |title=Tearing up suburbia |url=http://www.wickedlocal.com/kingston/homepage/x775324499 |format= |work= |publisher=Kingston Reporter and Patriot Ledger |id= |pages= |page= |date=2007-09-13 |accessdate=2007-10-05 |language= |quote= ] During the summer, they embarked on their 3rd cross-country summer tour ("Summer Reading and Rocking Tour 2006"), this time accompanied by fellow wizard rock band Draco and the Malfoys. Brad Mehlenbacher from Draco and the Malfoys handled drumming duties for the Potters for the entirety of their summer tour.

May 2007 was also the beginning of their large 70-show summer-library tour across the U.S. and Canada called simply "Summer Tour 2007". Like their initial year in 2003, the summer of 2007 would see the release of another Harry Potter book. Harry and the Potters scheduled the mid-point of the tour to arrive back in their home state and celebrate the 21 July midnight release of the seventh book, "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows" at Harvard Yard. The festivities became an excuse for a meet-up of a number of wizard rock bands including The Hungarian Horntails and their nemesis Draco and the Malfoys which all played to a large crowd of Harry Potter fans in the Cambridge, Massachusetts college venue. Harry and the Potters resumed their tour which finally wound-up in late August.cite news |first=Amy |last=O'Brian|authorlink= |author= |coauthors= |title= Brothers are unofficial music makers for Harry Potter films|url=http://www.canada.com/vancouversun/news/arts/story.html?id=67d0f46e-45dd-4759-a81f-190f5753d08a |format=newspaper |work= |publisher=The Vancouver Sun (Vancouver, BC) |id= |pages= |page= |date=2007-07-17 |accessdate=2007-07-19|language= |quote= ]

After four-years of touring and playing gigs across North America, the brothers have performed in 48 states and three Canadian provinces. The brothers have been asked if they knew that Harry and the Potters would have lasted beyond the initial gigs. While Joe said, "It’s starting to turn into the longest joke ever,." Paul was a bit more reflective and said that they "were never prepared for this, we never thought it would go this long. I guess at some point, we looked towards the seventh book as a culmination of our project." The Boston Phoenix wondered — in spite of fully booked calendars — how long wizard rock would last once there are no new stories to riff on, as their musical identity is contingent on the lasting success and popularity of a book series. "In some ways," said Paul, "we want to tie things off and consider it a done deal. We’ve always viewed this as a project that had a finite life and end point."

Joe has said, "We're not sure how to approach our band once the books are finished. In some senses, it might be a logical conclusion now that the books are over. We'll have to play it by ear — see how people feel after they find out what happens in the last book."cite news |first= Eric |last= Mitts |authorlink= |author= |coauthors= |title= Harry and the Potters |url= http://recoilmag.com/interviews/?1064 |format=on-line entertainment magazine |work= |publisher=Recoil |id= |pages= |page= |date=2007-08 |accessdate= 2007-09-04|language= |quote= ] When the final show does come, Paul has said, "We did figure out what our ideal final show would be — our first show was in our backyard, and we’d like our last show to be in her — J.K. Rowling's — backyard. We want that to happen, we’re waiting for the invite. We could play one of her kids’ birthday parties."

Harry and the Potters and their unexpected fan based indie music genre of wizard rock have grown into an international phenomenon. Recently, the band has engaged in charity side-projects and activism within the Harry Potter community. In 2005, they helped co-found the Harry Potter Alliance, an organization that uses the HP books as a platform for inspiring real-world activism.cite web |url= http://www.myspace.com/hpalliance|title=HP Alliance Project |accessdate= |accessmonthday= |accessdaymonth= |accessyear= |author= |last= |first= |authorlink= |coauthors= |date= |year= |month= |format= |work= |publisher= HP Alliance|pages= |language= |doi= |archiveurl= |archivedate= |quote= ] In January 2007, Harry and the Potters created the “Wizard Rock EP of the Month Club” which capitalized on the proliferation of wizard rock bands to release an EP each month. The various wizard rock bands have included Draco and the Malfoys, The Parselmouths and The Remus Lupins.cite web |url= http://wizardrockclub.com/subscribe|title= Wizard Rock Club - Subscribe] cite web |url= http://wizardrockclub.com/about|title= Wizard Rock Club - About] Reflecting wizard rock's literacy focus, the club raises funds for First Book, a non-profit organization that gives children the ability to read and own their first new books. In 2007, the Club raised over $13,000 for the organization.

Recent events (2008)

Harry and the Potters appeared alongside wizard rock bands, "Draco and the Malfoys", "Tom Riddle and Friends", "Whomping Willows", the "Moaning Myrtles" and fifteen other bands at Wrockstock 2008 located in the Ozark foothills, with similar concerts in New York and Chicago. [cite news |first=Alan Scher |last= Zagier |authorlink= |author= |coauthors= |title=Wizard rock: Harry Potter devotees put wizard tales to music |url=http://ca.news.yahoo.com/s/capress/080618/entertainment/music_wizard_rock |format= |work= |publisher=Associated Press |id= |pages= |page= |date= 18 June 2008|accessdate= |language= |quote= ] The have decided to undertake a summer tour, "Unlimited Enthusiasm" and release an extended play as part of the Wizard Rock EP of the Month Club. [cite news |first=Alison |last=Hallett |authorlink= |author= |coauthors= |title=Harry and the Potters - Tonight! |url=http://www.portlandmercury.com/portland/Blog?blog=41935&oid=847680 |format= |work= |publisher=The Portland Mercury |id= |pages= |page= |date= 21 July 2008 |accessdate= |language= |quote= ]

Musical style

Influence

Harry and the Potters with its strong persona or theme is as much a performance art project as it is a rock band. Musically, they sound much like other indie rock music with the exception that the band adheres to a novel conceit: the Harry Potter books will inspire the lyrics. As Joe said in a 2005 interview, "We try to take the themes from the books and amplify them."cite news |first=Vicky|last=Hallett |authorlink= |author= |coauthors= |title= Siriusly, Potter Rocks!|url=http://www.usnews.com/usnews/culture/articles/050716/16potterband.htm |format=news magazine |work= |publisher=U.S. News & World Report |id= |pages= |page= |date=2005 July 16 |accessdate=2007-08-06 |language= |quote= ] Their musical sound is described as "simple, catchy rock — think The White Stripes crossed with Raffi — where everyone sings along which is easy because in songs like 'Voldemort Can't Stop the Rock' the title is pretty much the only line." Another reviewer’s ear hears "a touch of the Ramones in their ultra simple lyrics."

The band is organized quite simply with Paul and Joe playing their songs in a simple basic guitar-synth-and-drums indie pop style and they sing in the semi-deadpan way; a review found the vocal delivery similar to that of They Might Be Giants.cite news |first=Eric |last= Wolf |authorlink= |author= |coauthors= |title=Harry & The Potters |url=http://www.mundanesounds.com/record_review.php?id=754 |format= on-line music magazine|work= |publisher= Mundane sounds
id= |pages= |page= |date=2004-03-24 |accessdate= 2007-09-04|language= |quote=
] The "raison d’être" of the band is to put enough energy and spirit into their songs to make them fun.

The band is not musically polished. Paul has joked that, if they had known of the band’s popularity, they might have made "an effort to sing in tune. But it’s hard to anticipate that sort of thing when you’re just writing silly songs and recording them in your living room over a weekend.". While musicianship is not the strength of the band, Paul says that the fans "know we're not the best singers and keyboard players, but we're okay. And they think, well, I could do that, too. I think that’s really encouraging to people..." Paul sees the brothers as a "bridge between this mainstream phenomena of Harry Potter and the indie rock underground. Plus, we’re also pretty strong adherents to the DIY ideal." The two brothers promote this ideal of making music independently and have fused the legions of fans on to the DIY free-for-all of indie rock and punk music, albeit of the silly kind.

The Washington Post describes the brothers as having vast quantities of both passion and ability to engage an audience: the "combination of their happy, who-cares personalities and Harry Potter fanaticism has cast a spell over book-loving teens across the country." Paul said, "the band is neither geeky nor cool but 'geeky-cool'. I think the indie-rock community at the very least realizes we're taking a very DIY approach to this."

Paul is proud of the way he and his brother can roll into almost any town in their van and attract a crowd:

We're playing to younger kids when they're just starting to get into music, so it will have some kind of long-term effect on them. Hopefully, this will encourage them to stay in bands, and read, or get into art. This one girl in Texas brought us a zine she made all about Harry Potter. It's really cool to see that we're inspiring them.

While in the earlier albums the band's musical style was goofy inept pop-punk, the band’s 2006 EP 'Scarred for Life' became musically darker reflecting the penultimate book Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince. 'Scarred for Life' ‘s scenario takes as its central conceit a Harry Potter who has started a hardcore rock band. Paul and Joe departed from their proud DIY home recording and sought a studio for both the "Scarred for Life" EP and the "Split 7" with the Zambonis EP" and now feel both were overproduced. In the same year, they returned to home recording with the "Power of Love" but with a bigger sound "albeit with somebody [recording technician] who knew slightly more about what they were doing". Paul said their third EP, the 2007 "The Enchanted Ceiling" was recorded in their living room.

Lyrics

Harry and the Potters couple their rough-edged music with themed lyrics, which define the band as much as the costumes. The straight-forward but quirky presentation of adolescent concerns and direness in the simplest of worries gives the songs their easy likeability. They poke fun at awkward situations from the books. For example, in the song "The Human Hosepipe", they sing, "Maybe you shouldn't have brought up Cedric Diggory/ Because I'd rather not talk about your dead ex-boyfriends over coffee." Two other examples of the bands distinctive take on teenage angst are seen in the song "Save Ginny Weasley" where they sing, "Are you petrified of being petrified?" and the song "The Godfather." where the gothic or mock-morbid line "Why do I always think that I am going to die?" is sung to an up-beat tune.

For the Harry Potter fandom, Harry and the Potters refer to words and phrases unique to the books, including Firebolt, Felix Felicis, the Flying Car, wizard chess, platform nine and three-quarters, the three-headed dog Fluffy, Mrs. Norris, the basilisk, and the Invisibility Cloak.

Activism

Harry and the Potters actively promote literacy. An Oklahoma fan said, "I think it is not necessarily the specific nature of wizard rock but the message — get out and read — that has the potential to be a permanent key in music of this nature."cite news |first=Drew |last=Weaver |authorlink= |author= |coauthors= |title=Harry Potter tribute bands, say fight evil -- read books |url=http://www.tulsaworld.com/entertainment/article.aspx?articleID=070119_Mu_d1_wizard |format=newspaper |work= |publisher= Tulsa World (Tulsa, OK)|id= |pages= |page= |date= 19 January 2007 |accessdate=2007-08-06 |language= |quote= ] The fan added:

A few years back I was at their concert in Oklahoma City. Like many of the audience members, I was completely decked out in my wizard garb and screaming at the top of my lungs. Also, they give out toothbrushes if you turn in a book report, so in the spirit of reading, I wrote one on several books.

Another example of this literary activism is the reference to Tipper Gore and the Parents Music Resource Center (PMRC) in the song "Voldemort Can't Stop The Rock," which contains the verse, "And we won't let the Dark Lord ruin our party/ Just like Tipper Gore tried with the PMRC."

Harry and the Potters also promote the Harry Potter Alliance, which amongst other activities, helps "wake the world up" to the genocide in Darfur. The projects invites its members to inform their local senator to support the Darfur Accountability and Divestment Act. The Harry Potter Alliance raises awareness for these projects by holding wizard rock concerts and by selling memorabilia to help fund these campaigns. [cite web |url= http://www.myspace.com/hpalliance|title= hpalliancemyspace|accessdate= |accessmonthday= |accessdaymonth= |accessyear= |author= |last= |first= |authorlink= |coauthors= |date= |year= |month= |format= |work= |publisher= |pages= |language= |doi= |archiveurl= |archivedate= |quote= ]

Harry and the Potters have also collaborated the "Harry Potter Alliance" complication album, "Rocking Out Against Voldemedia" with a song entitled “Don’t Believe It”. The purpose of the album was to achieve the right to free press and against media consolidation by asking site viewers to contact their member of congress to support S 2332, the "The Media Ownership Act of 2007." [cite web |url=http://stopbigmedia.com/potterwatch/ |title=StopBigMedia.com: Rock Out Against Voldemedia|accessdate= |accessmonthday= |accessdaymonth= |accessyear= |author= |last= |first= |authorlink= |coauthors= |date= |year= |month= |format= |work= |publisher= |pages= |language= |doi= |archiveurl= |archivedate= |quote= ]

Reception

While Harry and the Potters play infrequently at rock clubs and other venues — a Yule Ball at the Middle East Downstairs in Cambridge, MA in December 2005 attracted an audience of 600 with 200 turned away at the doorcite news |first=Jessica |last=Torrez Riley |authorlink= |author= |coauthors= |title=Wizards of rock |url=http://media.www.nu-news.com/media/storage/paper600/news/2006/12/06/TheInside/Wizards.Of.Rock-2524863.shtml?sourcedomain=www.nu-news.com&MIIHost=media.collegepublisher.com#more |format=newspaper |work= |publisher=The Northeastern News (Northeastern University) |id= |pages= |page= |date= 6 December 2006 |accessdate=2007-08-06 |language= |quote= ] — the band prefers to play all-ages shows at libraries, bookstores and schools, as the promotion of reading is a hallmark of Harry and the Potters concerts.cite web|url=http://www.eskimolabs.com/hp/band.htm|title=Harry and the Potters: The Band|publisher=Harry and the Potters|accessdate=2007-02-27] In turn, because of their active promotion of literacy, young-adult and teen librarians have been promoting the band.cite web |url=http://www.yalibrarian.com/wordpress/2006/09/wizard-rock/ |title=Wizard Rock! |accessdate=2007-08-06 |accessmonthday= |accessdaymonth= |accessyear= |author= |last= |first= |authorlink= |coauthors= |date=2006 Sept 08 |year= |month= |format= |work= |publisher= "Alternative Teen Services" - Library Services Blog |pages= |language= |doi= |archiveurl= |archivedate= |quote= ] Young people are some of their most unabashed fans.
The Washington Post reported on a recent 2007 concert on a corner of the lawn at the central branch of the Los Angeles Public Library. Although The Post found "the sound quality lame and the music sloppy," the lack of fancy guitar work did not dampen the enthusiasm of the fans. The crowd had a median age of about 18 with "some gray-hairs hang(ing) in the back, singing along, and a few little kids run(ing) in circles, knocking into each other like puppies." Some in the audience dress to a Harry Potter theme: "here, a wizard's cloak, over there, school uniforms." The Post found loyal fans who appreciate the band for more than the music. The Post quoted two young fans:

"We're just really into the books," Clare Kelley, 18, said as she hangs out with a few friends before the show. "It's great how they promote the books and get kids to read." Her friend Julia Wagner, 17, whose red T-shirt said, "Reading Is Radical," saw Harry and the Potters the past two summers at the library. But, as for the music, Wagner winced a bit, saying "They're really exuberant, that's what I like about them." And, Kelley added, "I think they've gotten better."

When they first played Los Angeles in 2004, they had about 50 children in a room at the library and the next year it was a bigger room, "but there were too many people," and then the band moved outdoors. In Vancouver on 07 July 2007, hundreds of people crowded outside the Vancouver Public Library to see Harry and the Potters. ABC News reported that the band usually charge $5 to $10 for tickets to their shows, though some performances are free. [http://abcnews.go.com/Business/FunMoney/Story?id=3371717&page=3 Harry Potter 'Wrockers' Conjure Musical Magic] ] Harry and the Potters said 600 people turned out for a recent show, 10 July 2007, in Portland, Oregon. [http://abcnews.go.com/Business/FunMoney/Story?id=3371717&page=2 Harry Potter 'Wrockers' Conjure Musical Magic] ] cite web|url=http://www.eskimolabs.com/hp/band.htm|title=Harry and the Potters: The Band|publisher=Harry and the Potters|accessdate=2007-02-27] As The Washington Post wrote, "wizard rock is an escape into a different world - a world of non-judgmental fun where grown-ups dress as wizards, evil is vanquished by song, and reading is cool."

The peculiar success of Harry and the Potters has led Paul to "sense a growing affection for us amongst other musicians" and at home:

Our parents were definitely confused by the whole thing at first, but they’ve always been very supportive of whatever weirdo endeavors we end up pursuing. They are great parents. I think they’re still baffled a bit by the fact that so many people want to come see us play and that sort of thing.

Wizard rock

Three years after Paul and Joe formed their band and two years after they began playing shows regularly, in 2005 there was a tidal wave of new wizard rock bands. The brothers do-it-yourself musical ethos has caught on with bands forming as fellow Potter fans are picking up instruments for the first time. Like Harry and the Potters, these new bands also take on the persona, or dress as a Harry Potter-themed character. Though most fans of the music are previous fans of Harry Potter, some bands have attracted listeners outside of the Harry Potter fanbase.cite news|url=http://www.forbes.com/services/2005/07/13/rowling-potter-band-cx_lr_0713harryband.html|title=Wizard Rock|date=2005-07-13|accessdate=2007-01-26|publisher=Forbes|last=Rose|first=Lacey] Paul and Joe are aware of around 200 other Harry Potter-related rock bands who at least record and post songs on the Internet. Paul has said:

It’s cool that so many kids are starting their own bands, and most of them are starting bands for the first time. So what’s not to love about that? But it is a little overwhelming. I can’t even listen to any of their music because I don’t have the time. Every time I log onto myspace, there’s, like, five new bands. And I bookmark them every time I come across them, I try to keep tabs on them, but it’s overwhelming…very overwhelming.

A full-length feature film project documenting Harry and the Potters and the wizard rock movement, "Wizard Rockumentary: A Movie About Rocking and Rowling", is currently in post-production to be released in 2008.cite news |first=Carole |last= Cadwalladr|authorlink= |author= |coauthors= |title= Harry Potter and the mystery of an academic obsession |url=http://observer.guardian.co.uk/review/story/0,,1837941,00.html |format=newspaper |work= |publisher= The Observer (UK)|id= |pages= |page= |date= 6 August 2006 |accessdate=2007-08-06 |language= |quote= ] cite web |url= http://www.filmmaking-focus.com/megan-and-mallory-schuyler-documenting-the-culture-of-wizard-rock/|title=Megan and Mallory Schuyler: Documenting the Culture of Wizard Rock |accessdate=2007-08-06 |accessmonthday= |accessdaymonth= |accessyear= |author= |last= |first= |authorlink= |coauthors= |date=9 October 2006 |year= |month= |format= |work= |publisher=Filmmaking Focus|pages= |language= |doi= |archiveurl= |archivedate= |quote= ]

Other projects

Over the years, Paul and Joe DeGeorge have both undertaken a number of musical side projects such as Ed in the Refrigerators (Joe's band), FUFL (a band about Florida), 926 Main Street Apt. 2 and "the dæmons". They have also co-founded a record label, "Eskimo Laboratories" and created the "Wizard Rock EP of the Month Club".

In February 2008, Harry and the Potters launched a website called [http://www.unlimitedenthusiasm.com Unlimited Enthusiasm] . The website led users through a series of images and eventually to a forum, which contained much speculation concerning the nature of Unlimited Enthusiasm. Unlimited Enthusiasm ended up being the name of their Summer 2008 tour alongside bands Uncle Monsterface and Math The Band.

Band members

*Joe DeGeorge – vocals, guitar, baritone saxophone, melodica (2002–present)
*Paul DeGeorge – vocals, keyboard, tenor saxophone, glockenspiel, theremin (2002–present)
*Ernie Kim – drums (2003, 2005-present)

Former members

*Andrew MacLeay – drums (2004)

Discography

;Studio albums
* "Harry and the Potters" (2003)
* "Voldemort Can't Stop the Rock!" (2004)
* "Power of Love" (2006);Extended Plays
* "Scarred for Life" (2006)
* "The Enchanted Ceiling" (2007)
* Upcoming third extended play (2008)

ee also

* Draco and the Malfoys
* Filk

References

Further reading

*
*
*
*
*

External links

* [http://www.eskimolabs.com/hp/ Harry and the Potters] – official website
* [http://www.eskimolabs.com/ Eskimo Laboratories] – record label
*MySpace-music|harryandthepotters|Harry and the Potters
* [http://www.archive.org/details/HarryandThePotters Harry and the Potters] at Internet Archive


Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.