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Switchblade Kitten

Wizard rock appears at the University Bookstore Saturday

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Unless you live in a cave or a dark hole, perhaps somewhere near the outskirts of Spanaway, you’ve heard the hype.

This Saturday, July 21, the final installment of the Harry Potter saga will be released to the public, thanks to author J.K. Rowlings and her word processing wizardry. If the entire universe doesn’t explode with excitement before then, Potter fans worldwide will spend the next three days in sweatpants, wrist deep in a tub of ice cream, cherishing every fantastical page of “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows.”  

Like most middle-aged men, Bobble Tiki’s library is fairly basic. There’s a section on war, a section on UFOs, a section of Chilton Manuals, a stack of Playboys (for the articles, of course), and tucked in the corner, hidden from public view, the entire collection of Harry Potter. Call Bobble Tiki a nerdy ass, wizard-lovin’ Potter maniac all you want. It doesn’t matter. Bobble Tiki doesn’t care if he has the reading list of an overachieving third-grader. Bobble Tiki doesn’t care if his friends make fun of him. Bobble Tiki doesn’t care if his community college lit teacher is disappointed.

Bobble Tiki simply can’t wait to get his hand on “the Deathly Hallows.”

Unfortunately, there’s no choice. Bobble Tiki will have to wait until Saturday to get his hands on the latest Potter. Luckily, there are plenty of equally-addicted folks out there with whom Bobble Tiki can froth in anticipation until the book is released, and then seminar about it endlessly once it finally hits stores.

But first, a celebration…

All week the University of Washington Tacoma Bookstore has been having a massive Potter blowout — complete with movie showings, wand making, prediction taking, and Harry and the Potters (the band). Saturday, the day the book hits shelves, the Switchblade Kittens — promoting their recently released CD The Weird Sisters — will culminate the week-long Potter bonanza with a lesson in wizard rock — taking the stage at UW Tacoma’s Bookstore.

If you didn’t know wizard rock was a genre, well, my friend, where the hell have you been? In fact, the Kittens — a girl-centric, all bass band — started it. They made a name for themselves spoofing and punking up the theme from “Titanic,” and soon they were the dolls of college radio. Weird Sisters is a record comprised completely of Harry Potter inspired songs, making it obvious why the Los Angeles-based punk band — three girls, one guy — was booked to celebrate HP7 in Tacoma.

“We’ve been planning the event since February, and it’s been a great collaborative effort between our children’s book staff, the marketing department and the multiple stores that are hosting events,” says Stesha Brandon, events coordinator for University Bookstore.

“We are so excited about the upcoming release of ‘Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows.’ It gives us an opportunity to throw the biggest party in the Puget Sound area for the communities that have been supporting us for the last 107 years.”

Bobble Tiki caught up with Drama Kitten, the vocalist and leader of the Switchblade Kittens.

BOBBLE TIKI: Now, what about your instrumentation?  All bass?  How does that work, and why did you decide to do it?

DRAMA KITTEN: We are an all-bass band. The bassola is a bass that sounds like a keyboard, the bassorama is a bass that sounds like a guitar, and the drumbass is a bass that sounds like a full drum kit. I used to be considered a freak because I take basses apart and make them into Franken-basses but it turns out I’m now featured in a textbook called “Uncommon Sound: The Left-Handed Guitar Players that Changed Music.” I am reference material. Just goes to show that being insane has its advantages.

TIKI: I have to ask, Wizard Rock?  Really?  When and how did you get into the Wizard Rock business?

KITTEN: Well in 2000 I made a song called “Ode to Harry” about Harry Potter.  We put it up on our Web site as a free download for our fans. Within a few months there were three million downloads, then kids from all over the world started forming bands inspired by our musical love for Harry. Apparently we started a new music movement called Wizard Rock. Ummm...Whoops!

TIKI: Who makes up your die-hard fan base and what kind of crowd do you tend to draw at your shows?

KITTEN: Teenage girls who are a bit on the nerdy or edgy side. I mean if all they have to choose from is manufactured music like Fergie or Avril … they rebel against all that and choose Switchblade Kittens. Bless them! 

TIKI: Finally, he’s kind of scrawny and pretty nerdy, so what is it about Harry that has you swooning and singing him love songs?

KITTEN: I have a thing for nerds, OK?  At the time I wrote this CD, we were fighting to get away from a major label. And the label was so evil I likened them to Voldemort. So Harry inspired me and taught me to carry on and be strong by fighting no matter what the odds may be. Harry is my hero.

TIKI: Anything to add?

KITTEN: Don’t get pregnant and go to University. My mum told me that.

As always, Bobble Tiki doesn’t care what you do this week because he doesn’t even know you. Sorry about that. In fact, unless you can tell Bobble Tiki when the food at the Reef in Oly got so good, he probably doesn’t want to meet you. What can Bobble Tiki say? He’s a dick. Actually, that’s not true. Bobble Tiki could use all the friends he can get at this point, and he’s technically an ass. Start having breakfast with Bobble Tiki at  

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