Music, music, music

By Lila Griswold - January 26, 2006

A rainy mid-January Saturday night might keep most people in their right minds at home in front of the fireplace, but on this special night many local music lovers were out and altogether hyped to support the new local radio station, wVvy, and to hear several good bands play at the Arts Exchange in Oak Bluffs.

The venue was buzzing with excitement in mid-afternoon, as teenagers milled about waiting for the first band, Fül, to hit the stage. Volunteers young and old were rushing about, making sure that everything was in order. Sal McNamara was warming up on his drum kit.

Everyone fell silent as Eli Berlow sat down at his keyboard and his brother Max strapped on his bass. The only girl in the band, Jenna Bernstein, was applauded warmly by the crowd as she tuned her guitar, before the band kicked into their routine, which consisted of the Island-famous song that's only lyrical content is "la-la-la," followed by a great cover of Ray Charles's "Hit the Road Jack."

Then came Brian and Brad of Draco and the Malfoys, both on guitar, and supported by an electronic rhythm track. Dressed in long black robes favored by teachers at Hogwarts, their songs are about J.K. Rowling's masterwork, the Harry Potter series, from the "evil" Draco Malfoy's point of view. They started off with their signature "Potions Yesterday," and finished with "Hippogriffs Deserve to Die," about the attack on Draco by a half-bird, half-horse creature named Buckbeak (affectionately called Beaky) in his third year at Hogwarts.

The next band, Harry and the Potters, quickly got the whole crowd chanting "Voldemort can't stop the rock!" Dressed in identical gray V-neck sweaters, neckties, and Harry Potter glasses, brothers Paul (guitar) and Joe (keyboard) deGeorge were backed by an un-named but very able drummer. The brothers switched off singing "Save Ginny Weasley" (We've got to save Ginny Weasley from the Basilisk/We've got to save the school again), "The Foil (Malfoy)" ("Draco Malfoy, what's your problem?/ All your friends think you're rad because you treat me so bad") and a song called "Spew!" where they got the crowd jumping and screaming "Spew!" into the mike.

As the evening went on, younger kids were replaced by an older crowd, there to take in local acts like Pink Socks, Willy Mason, and Maynard Silva. Hours later, the bands finished playing, leaving only Bella Samba to finish the evening off with a little dancing and singing in front of a video by Bob Kimberly of waves breaking along an up-Island beach. It was the perfect way to end a perfect night.

By 11:30, the crowd had thinned noticeably. It was a long show for those of us who stayed the entire time, and for the off-Island bands - the Malfoys and the Potters - who had to leave early the next morning for Saratoga, N.Y. for their next show.

All told, the fundraiser was an obvious success, with a large, enthusiastic crowd enjoying a variety of great music in a fun, interesting place where Islanders can go to hear good music. A similar event is scheduled for June. Hopefully the volunteers behind wVvy will continue working hard on their radio station.

Lila Griswold, a 10th-grader at the Martha's Vineyard Public Charter School, attended Pirate's Booty to help out as a volunteer, and for the fun of it.