Photos by Alex Begley
What do you call punk rock for kids? Pid Rock? Kink Rock? Maybe just Wizard Rock, the genre that Harry and the Potters have summoned up around them in last five years. For those of you without literature-obsessed teenagers, Harry and the Potters are a brotherly duo out of Boston who, as a joke, came up with the idea of writing songs from J.K. Rowling's fictional character’s point of view eight years ago; Houston's wizard-rock community was certainly out in force at Walter's Tuesday night.
The brothers' joke has spawned a formidable movement, as Joe and Paul DeGeorge (21 and 29, respectively) play shows decked in Potter garb - glasses and ties of Gryffindor crimson and gold - and have inspired other bands, namely Draco and the Malfoys, to marry the world of Hogwarts with music. Both bands were recently featured alongside other Potter enthusiasts in the heartwarming documentary We are Wizards.
The last time I saw Harry and the Potters, the sixth book had just been released, and the band explained their all-ages policy for shows: "There's no age restriction on reading," they said simply. Now it seems they’ve taken that idea and cast an engorgio spell on it by creating Camp Jump and Yell, an interactive, family-friendly experience that includes free cupcakes, face-painting, balloon animals and even voter registration.
Uncle Monsterface and friend.
However, juvenile it’s not. Yes, the ratio of magic-marker X's to yellow “I’m legal” bracelets Tuesday night was enough to keep the bar virtually empty all night, but those of us who felt almost criminal with our beers had just as much fun as our class of ’09 counterparts, as well as their parents, who danced and snapped pictures from a socially acceptable distance.
Fishboy: Fond of taquerias, girls, taqueria girls.
Camp Jump and Yell kicked off at 8 p.m. (curfews, people, curfews) with the liberating puppet-rock of Uncle Monsterface, the giddy Math the Band and adorable fellow Texans Fishboy. Just like their trumpet-laced pop-folk, Fishboy's lyrics were so upbeat and endearing ("Nothing can go wrong when I’m talking to the taqueria girl"), it was impossible not to fall in love with them. To add to the fun, they performed next to a screen that looped pictures of puppies and unicorns during the set.
All the bands' sets were ADD-short, so the curfew-conscious Potters were ripping into "I am a Wizard" by 10:15. The song re-introduces us to Harry; many may have forgotten that, before all his Deathly Hallows glory, Harry was living in a cupboard under the Dursleys' staircase.
With a borrowed drummer (dubbed Ringo Weasley), a broom-guitar, and a broken laptop - obviously the work of dark magic - the DeGeorges recounted the best and worst moments of the seven part series. Whether it’s saving Ginny from a Basilisk, playing Wizard’s Chess with Ron over Winter Break, or lamenting his disastrous Valentine’s Day with Cho Chang, these are the songs that Harry’s punk band would have written if they had the time. For anyone who's found themselves lost in Rowling's books, Harry and the Potters make a delightful outlet for your nerdy obsession. The rock may be hard, but the message is soft: nothing beats love, not even Voldemort. - Alex Begley