Here in Boston, people leave the area all the time. Some go to New York, some go to Nashville, some go to San Francisco. Lately, many people — artists, musicians, and performers in particular — have jumped coasts and relocated to Southern California, a trend so hot that #BosAngeles has become more than just a hashtag. It’s a certifiable gang (though not like those gangs out there).
But few moves in the Boston area have caused a discussion quite like Michael J. Epstein and Sophia Cacciola’s decision to head west. Epstein’s February essay on it, which we posted on Vanyaland, sparked significant debate on whether or not the Eastern hub of Massachusetts (specifically, Boston, Cambridge, and Somerville) was sustainable for artists and creative types to not only thrive, but to survive.
It’s still a hot topic, but this week, it’s a subject for another day.
As Epstein and Cacciola prep for their move, their Prisioner-themed rock duo, Do Not Forsake Me Oh My Darling, plays a farewell show Thursday night at the Middle East in Cambridge. And as a parting gift, they’ve delivered maybe the best bit of music in either’s career here. The three-song In The Village EP is a departure from the pound-n-ground doom rock Do Not Forsake Me are known for; and instead opts for a darker, more hypnotic and mechanical brand of minimalized electronic-pop that’s seductive, smoky and full of loud empty spaces.
There’s also a grinding cover of Loverboy’s ’80s hit “Working For The Weekend,” a grim, menacing rendition that borders on the industrial and feels like a Gary Numan and Nivek Ogre hybrid delivering downtempo brilliance in the verses. It’s also missing its famed chorus, and that’s by design. “[B]ecause I hate it and the song is kind of great without it,” Epstein writes.
Says Cacciola of the two originals: “They are both kind of sad songs I wrote while dealing with my spinal issues. They are also weirdly dancy. We’ll rock ‘n’ roll them for Thursday’s show, but this may be a direction we’re going in, or maybe not!”
Let’s hope they same the same. The songs, we mean, but we can say that about the duo as they head west, as well. Listen below.