Philadelphia Rocks!

Matt Maggiacomo of the Whomping Willows, performing in Bethlehem PA

Just about everyone knows what a huge Harry Potter geek I am—that’s no secret. One of the most awesome things that’s come out of HP fandom is a movement called “wizard rock”. It’s great because it encourages children to read and to get involved in music.

One of my favorite bands is The Whomping Willows, led by Matt Maggiacomo of Rhode Island. His music, humorously labeled as “botanical wizard rock”, is charming, whitty, and often just a little bit naughty. I mean, come on! One of the songs on his debut album is titled “When You Touched Me in That Special Place”, sung from a pining Whompy to his Remus Lupin, “the greatest love in the whole world”.

Along with with R5 Productions and Harry and the Potters, my HP group Potterdelphia co-hosted the Philadelphia Yule Ball 2006 last December at Starlight Ballroom, which featured The Whomping Willows as the opening act. After that, Matt says, “I decided that I needed to write a song about how effing awesome Philadelphia is. No offense to any other cities, but I’ve never witnessed such an enthusiastic crowd.”

Enthusiastic? Well, yeah, that’s Philly all right!

So write a song he did. “Philadelphia Rocks” shows up on Matt’s second album, Welcome to the House of Awesome, released just two weeks ago, and I was lucky enough to be in Cambridge, MA for the CD release party at the Middle East. In this song, Whompy proclaims there’s no place he likes more—Philly’s where his heart is. (Awww! Isn’t that sweet!) Near the end of the first verse, he sings about heading back to Philly to “have myself some dinner at one of their many fine Ethiopian restaurants”. (What can I say? We have some mighty tasty food here in this city!)

Listen to or download a demo of “Philadelphia Rocks” over at The Whomping Willows’ myspace page or check him out yourself! He’s performing next Saturday! Venue is Voices and Visions, an awesome independent bookstore in the basement of the Bourse. Joining Whompy are local (South Jersey) acts The Moaning Myrtles and The Marauders.

Saturday, May 26, 2007, 6:00 PM
Voices & Visions Bookstore
111 S. Independence Mall
Lower Level at The Bourse
Philadelphia, PA 19106

Oh yeah. One more thing: Whompy also says the people from Potterdelphia are awesome. Need proof? Come to our meetup at the Goat in Rittenhouse Square this Sunday at 2pm.

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