Ruse music

Do Not Forsake Me Oh My Darling’s front may be a front
By BARRY THOMPSON  |  May 18, 2010

 

Not that they’d be the first band to pad their résumé in their one-sheet, but even by industry standards, Do Not Forsake Me Oh My Darling’s backstory tests the threshold of plausibility. Sophia Cacciola and Michael Epstein themselves don’t seem to believe that they began their rock careers after growing disenchanted with jobs at an unspecified US intelligence agency. They act as if it were just a joke. A shtick.

Hmmmm . . . .

Wouldn’t a ’60s-spy-show-themed rock band make a brilliant cover story for legit former spies hiding in plain sight? Don’t nudges and winks render information impossible to take seriously? Wouldn’t it be clever to conceal a dangerous reality by disguising it as bullshit disguised as truth?

Cacciola and Epstein likely haven’t been up to any actual cloak-and-dagger shenanigans. Then again, as is the case with The Prisoner (the eminent 1967-’68 British TV series from which Do Not Forsake cull their lyrical inspiration), doubts linger as to what is true and what is not.

Cacciola claims to daylight as a “secretary.” It’s hardly a rock-solid alibi. She also admits that the tasks she attends to while on the clock aren’t always secretarial. That aside, wouldn’t a real secretary call herself an “administrative assistant,” or something more important-sounding? Perhaps her lyrics are rooted in more first-hand experience than she lets on?

“I like watching something, digesting it, and thinking about what I want to say within those themes.” That’s the word from this rare drummer/songwriter/frontperson composite, as she sips coffee in the Somerville home she shares with Epstein. “Otherwise, I have to write from personal experience, or something very boring.” Unveiled last month, Do Not Forsake’s inaugural EP, The New Number 2, offers clamorous, jangling, riffy weirdness topped by Cacciola’s husky sing-shouting. It makes a fine choice for anyone who wants to enjoy six noisy rock songs, or anyone who’s being chased by an ominous, ever-present nonentity.

Thus far in their slightly less-than-a-year run, Do Not Forsake — who play the Middle East this Saturday — have recorded a song for five of The Prisoner’s 17 episodes, intend to assign a track to each of the other 12, and haven’t decided what they’ll do when it’s time to write their 18th song. Not that it’ll matter — for all the pop-cultural allusions in the presentation, they could sing about watching water boil and they’d still stand out. Whereas other bands cram 20 friggin’ persons on stage at their shows, or rely on technology to fill out their sound, Cacciola and Epstein get a lot done with as few tools as possible. The singer doubles as drummer. The bass, jacked into a guitar amp, plays the highs and the lows, though never simultaneously.

“It’s weird for people,” Epstein observes. “They’re like, ‘Well, there’s no low end at this moment,’ or, ‘There’s no high end at this moment!’ It makes them uncomfortable.”

“We thought about getting a third person, but this way, it makes us more creative,” explains Cacciola. “We really want to build dynamics, quiet parts and loud parts. It’s harder to do that with two people, but it makes it more interesting.”

Epstein: “They get really upset. I don’t think it’s a personal thing. Some people are like, ‘Well, I hear a guitar part!’ ”

1  |  2  |   next >
  Topics: Music Features , Entertainment, Music, Arts,  More more >
| More


Most Popular
ARTICLES BY BARRY THOMPSON
Share this entry with Delicious
  •   HOW TO DESTROY ANGELS | WELCOME OBLIVION  |  March 13, 2013
    Whereas the monsters and ghosts of NIN songs can scream in your face and rip you to bits with their fangs, Welcome Oblivion tracks like techno-folk haunter "Ice Age" and the doom-pop jaunt "How Long?" make uncredited cameo appearances in your nightmares until you go insane and eat your own hands.
  •   JOHNNY MARR | THE MESSENGER  |  February 25, 2013
    Going solo is rarely a good decision. For every exception to the rule of who flourishes after unburdening themselves of the half-talents that have been holding them back — Justin Timberlake, for one — there are dozens of embarrassing Dee Dee Ramone rap albums that exist because Joey and Johnny Ramone weren't around to kibosh a terrible idea.
  •   WHAT'S F'N NEXT? BUKE AND GASE  |  January 29, 2013
    Almost every person I've told about Buke and Gase assumes that they'll hate this band, which isn't their fault.
  •   BLEEDING RAINBOW | YEAH RIGHT  |  January 23, 2013
    The only defect of the sort-of-but-not-really debut from Bleeding Rainbow (no longer called Reading Rainbow, possibly due to litigious ire festering under LeVar Burton's genial television persona) is that the Philly foursome merely hop off the launching point forged by Sonic Youth, My Bloody Valentine, and a handful of others from the oft-exalted grunge era.
  •   10 THINGS I WISH I KNEW BEFORE I STARTED PLAYING IN BANDS IN BOSTON  |  January 25, 2013
    We hear you just moved to "the Bean", and you're thinking about starting a real life rock-'n-roll band! Here's a bunch of bullshit you should know about.

 See all articles by: BARRY THOMPSON