The Olympics have been on everyone’s mind and television these last couple of weeks, and apparently a giant Voldemort waged war against Mary Popp
inses (yes, plural) during the opening ceremonies. Between J.K. Rowling reading Peter Pan and Rupert Grint carrying the torch, our Harry didn’t have to show up himself to get good representation in his home country. It sounds like children’s literature in general got fair play in Danny Boyle’s opening ceremonies.
I wouldn’t know, because I don’t have a TV and can’t be bothered to look it all up on the Internet. What I can be bothered to do is come up with a bunch of Potter- and other fiction-related links for an Around the Common Room post (credit where credit’s due: the Blogengamot helped!) Here it is.
First–and this one is so important that multiple people sent it to me–NPR has finally announced its voter-chosen “100 Best-Ever Teen Novels.” Guess who’s number one? Number two is not much less surprising, nor is number three. Twilight hit the list at number 27, and I’m pleased because Shannon Hale’s The Goose Girl made the cut (at #80; superb fairy tale retelling, and I voted for it myself).
Upon the list’s release, the Internet took note: female authors may struggle in every other genre, but they write a fair percentage of the favorites in YA. Middle-grade author Nathan Bransford asks, in a positive way, why.
Meanwhile, in fantasy and science fiction:
The Smart Set has a fun new piece about wizard rock from an outsider’s perspective. Of course, being written by a non-überfan, there are a few little mistakes, e.g.: Matt Maggiacomo from The Whomping Willows probably shouldn’t be on a reality dating show since he just got engaged to Lauren Fairweather from The Moaning Myrtles, and anyone who thinks Harry and the Potters has the most professional sound in wrockdom has obviously never heard Oliver Boyd and the Remembralls (no disrespect meant to the DeGeorge boys, of course.) Those are minor details, however, and it’s an enjoyable article.
The author, Marissa Payne, does catch the important point that wrock is “about the community” more than the music, although unlike one of her sources, I listen to the music at home quite a bit (admittedly, for home listening I prefer the bands who do sound somewhat better than Phoebe from Friends.) Wrock has always been a group activity and musical talent has never been much of a requirement, though the gifted do dwell among us. It’s a fascinating little community.
H/T Wizrocklopedia by way of Denise Roper
All right, all you Lost fans. I admit to getting so creeped out by the episode where Locke “meets” Jacob with Ben that I never saw another, even though—or perhaps because—that was only the fourth or fifth episode I’d ever seen. As your resident wizard rocker, though, I have to apprise you of a fantastic new trend: Lost-themed bands.
Check back often today; it’s going to be really busy here at The Hog’s Head! Frequent posts for this day-before-the-movie, including interesting news and the stunning conclusion to our Half-Blood Prince Read-Through!
- Are you on Twitter? Participate today and tomorrow in the Dumbledore Twitter Challenge, by The Harry Potter Alliance (and don’t forget to follow @thehogshead!); More thoughts on this later in the day if I have time.
- Lev Grossman writes about Wizard Rock for TIME. A very good article.
- A new article on Gambon’s Dumbledore, with interview quotes. Fair warning: there’s lots in here for us anti-Gambon folks to get good and worked up about. If he says, “I play myself” one more time, I’m going to call him up and ask him why he chose acting as a career.
- Spoiler Warning if you click this link: Janet Batchler got to an early screening of Half-Blood Prince and has written her review.
- Reminder to Rochesterians that I’m at the Brighton Library tonight at 7pm, and I hope to see you at Tinseltown for the midnight showing of Half-Blood Prince!
- And yes, I’ll be writing my review at 3am when I get back from the film.
Last night I made my way to the Sidewalk Cafe on Avenue A and 6th in Manhattan to see Draco and the Malfoys perform. Before they went on stage, we were treated to performances by Swish & Flick, Justin Finch-Fletchley of the Sugar Quills, and Whompy from the Whomping Willows. It was something to see a small, but devoted group of fans singing to these group’s songs, including Melissa Anelli of The Leaky Cauldron. Harry Potter was very much alive in that diminuitive showroom in the cafe. When Draco and the Malfoys took the stage, you could feel the excitement and energy. I’ve seen them perform last year at the Bohemian Hall & Beer Garden along with Harry and the Potters, and they are awesome. Starting off with “Party Like You’re Evil” and even singing some exclusive songs from their new album, Draco and the Malfoys capped off a great night of Wizard Rock.
You can check their upcoming schedule on their official website or Myspace profile.