Harry and the Potters
On June 21st, wizard rock pioneers Harry and the Potters (Paul and Joe DeGeorge), will release their first full-length album since 2006: Lumos. Using the magic of rock and roll, it chronicles the events of the seventh and final Harry Potter book where J.K. Rowling’s teen wizard and his friends are on the run from a xenophobic, authoritarian regime and must work diligently to take down a dark wizard who capitalizes on fear and emboldens supremacist wizards. In other words, the subject matter of Lumos is extremely relevant. Harry and the Potters will embark on their first national tour of libraries since 2011 in support of the new album. Lumos was first announced to Harry and the Potters' fans with a Kickstarter campaign on April 23rd, doubling its funding goal within 24 hours of launch.
Lumos is an album for this political moment. For the parents raising a younger generation reading these books for the first time, it’s an opportunity to connect the dots: the systems facilitating oppression in the wizard world – state-run media, children being separated from their mixed-blood parents, surveillance systems, and pureblood supremacy – strongly echo the daily reality of creeping neo-fascism. For the generation of Harry Potter fans that has grown up into a world where cartoonish villains occupy the halls of power, it’s a reminder that there is a pathway forward. Now is the time for Dumbledore’s Army, for the Order of the Phoenix. We are being called upon to become the heroes that this moment necessitates.
Paul DeGeorge tells Rolling Stone, “we’re hoping that parents and their young kids might see us play at the library, hear a song explicitly critiquing pureblood supremacy and then later have a real discussion about white supremacy and how it manifests in their own lives.”
These are wizard fight songs, but there are also songs about riding dragons, magic pictures of cats, and using cool spells while camping. There is even a platonic friendship power ballad duet with Kimya Dawson, who makes a special guest appearance as Hermione Granger. Truly there is something here for the whole family – especially if the whole family is invested in defeating Voldemort.
About Harry and the Potters
Harry and the Potters are the first wizard rock band. They play songs exclusively about the Harry Potter books. The band consists of brothers Joe and Paul DeGeorge. They grew up in a suburban Boston house that has a cupboard under the stairs. Since 2002, Harry and the Potters have performed over 800 shows in libraries, rock clubs, art spaces, bookstores, basements, and all ages venues all over the world. Their high-energy live show has become legendary. Pitchfork placed the band in their Best Live Shows of 2005 list noting, "the greatest rock and roll tour of the year took place this past summer in public libraries across America… The Decemberists wish they could lit-rock like this.”
Inspired by equal parts Fugazi and They Might Be Giants, Bruce Springsteen and Negativland, the band continues to occupy a bizarre niche that brings their DIY punk ethos to the fandom of a mainstream cultural phenomena. Their commitment to playing all ages shows has meant extensive touring in unconventional spaces like libraries (where a large number of teens and pre-teens undoubtedly saw their first concert ever). As fandom and convention culture has gone mainstream – and in the process become increasingly corporatized – over the past decade, it feels refreshing to see a free Harry and the Potters show at the local library.
The band helped co-found the pioneering fan activist organization The Harry Potter Alliance and were profiled in the 2008 documentary We Are Wizards. With their annual Yule Balls (2005-present) and the Wizard Rock EP Club (which released albums from over 30 different wizard rock bands between 2007-2009), the band has raised over $100,000 for the Harry Potter Alliance and other literature-related charities.
In 2019, they will release Lumos, their first full-length album in over a decade, and will embark on an extensive summer tour of libraries across the United States.